Spring Is (Hopefully) In The Air!
Welcome to the March 2013 issue of CFSAN's News for Educators – the at-a-glance bi-monthly e-news from FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Read on for seasonal information on egg safety and National Nutrition Month, plus important consumer information regarding tattoo removal. Don't miss FDA's list of upcoming events!
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Egg Safety During the Holidays
For many families, Easter or Passover would not be the same without eggs. But it's important to remind consumers that eggs should be handled carefully to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. Salmonella can be found on both the outside and the inside of eggs that look perfectly normal, and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever. In otherwise healthy people, the symptoms generally last a couple of days and taper off within a week. But Salmonella can cause severe illness and even death in at-risk individuals, such as pregnant women, young children, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. So, it's important to follow these safety tips:
Buy only refrigerated eggs. Refrigerate eggs in their original container as soon as you arrive home and use them within 3 weeks for best quality. Discard any cracked or dirty eggs.
Keep clean. The outside shell as well as the egg inside can be contaminated. So, wash hands, surfaces and utensils thoroughly with soap and water both before and after they come in contact with raw eggs or egg-containing foods.
Cook eggs thoroughly. Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm and not runny. Dishes containing eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F (use a food thermometer to be sure!); pre-cooked egg dishes like quiche should be reheated to 165 °F before serving. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served (like homemade Caesar salad dressing or ice cream), use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products. When in doubt, ask your grocer!
Serve eggs safely. Keep hot foods hot (140 °F or warmer) and cold foods cold (40 °F or colder) when serving … and just as with any perishable food, don't let any egg dish sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. If it does, discard it.
Be sure to share additional need-to-know information about safe preparation, serving and storage of eggs with consumers – and invite them to watch the video, Playing It Safe With Eggs.
Happy National Nutrition Month!
As you celebrate National Nutrition Month, remind consumers that the Nutrition Facts Label found on all packaged foods and beverages is a great tool for comparing and choosing foods this month … and all year long! Use the label to:
Check the serving size. All of the nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts Label is based on one serving of that food. But, it's common for one package of a food to contain more than one serving.
Consider the calories. If you want to manage your weight (lose, gain, or maintain), pay attention to the calories. The key is to balance how many calories you eat with how many calories your body uses. As a general rule, 400 or more calories per serving for a single food is high and 100 calories is moderate. And remember, if a package contains two (or more) servings and you eat the entire package, you are consuming two (or more) times the number of calories and nutrients listed on the label.
Choose nutrients wisely. You can also monitor your intake of specific nutrients by using the Percent Daily Value(%DV) on the Nutrition Facts Label. This is especially helpful for "nutrients to get less of" such as sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol, which can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Follow this easy guideline when looking at nutrients on the label: 5%DV or less of a nutrient means the food is low in that nutrient, and 20%DV or more means it's high!
Planning a presentation for National Nutrition Month? Check out FDA's selection of Nutrition Education Tools, including consumer handouts!
Getting Rid of Tattoos
Warmer weather is around the corner … and for some consumers, the notion of short-sleeve season may include a desire to get rid of a tattoo they no longer enjoy. However, it's critical to keep safety in mind when considering tattoo removal. Here is some general information on the topic:
Tattoo removal is increasing. According to a poll conducted in January 2012 by Harris Interactive, 1 in 8 (14%) of the 21% of American adults who have tattoos regret getting one. Laser surgery is an effective and safe way to remove tattoos and FDA reminds consumers to be sure to find a dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal.
FDA considers tattoo ink to be a cosmetic. Although a number of color additives are approved for use in cosmetics, none are approved for injection into the skin. In fact, many pigments used in tattoo inks are not approved for skin contact at all. Some are industrial grade colors that are suitable for printers' ink or automobile paint.
FDA takes action on ink safety issues. Because of other public health priorities and a previous lack of evidence of safety concerns, FDA has not traditionally regulated tattoo inks or the pigments used in them. However, FDA takes action to prevent consumer illness or injury when safety issues arise related to the inks. The actual practice of tattooing is regulated by state and local authorities.
Urge consumers to learn more about tattoos, FDA's role in approved processes, and safe laser tattoo removal.
For More Information
National Science Teachers Association National Conference
April 11–14, 2013
San Antonio, TX
National School Boards Association
April 13–15, 2013
San Diego, CA
CFA Food Policy Conference
April 15–16, 2013
World Health Care Congress
April 6–10, 2013
National Harbor, MD
American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference
April 20–23, 2013
San Francisco, CA
Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
April 23–27, 2013
National Hispanic Medical Association
April 25–28, 2013
Food Safety Summit
April 30–May 2, 2013
United Fresh Association
May 14–16, 2013
San Diego, CA
National Restaurant Association
May 18–21, 2013
National Environmental Health Annual Conference (NEHA)
June 9–11, 2013
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers
June 26–29, 2013