Stay Merry with these Nine Safe Holiday Food Tips

img_8909Follow these tips to stay food safe this holiday season whether you are making a Christmas ham, Kwanzaa jerk chicken or Hanukkah latkes.

  1. Use a chafing dish to keep hot foods at (+135°F) or above.
  2. Use ice bowls to keep food cold (-41°F).
  3. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation.
  4. Reheat leftovers quickly and thoroughly to 165°F.
  5. Bake cookies according to instructions It’s temping, but don’t eat the raw dough!
  6. Prevent colds from spreading to your food. Keep sticky fingers out of the kitchen and cover foods if possible.
  7. Wash all fresh produce before cutting or consuming.
  8. Wash your hands before, during and after food prep.
  9. If frying foods, be aware of the cooking times needed to make sure food are fully cooked and ready for consumption. Find out where to properly dispose of the cooking oil after use here.

What food tips or recipes do you have to share with us? Comment below!

Happy Holidays from Environmental Health Services!

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Healthy Nail Salon Program Wins Harvard’s Roy Award

148124317831308San Mateo County’s Healthy Nail Salon Program Coordinator, Kathryn Cooke, ventured to Boston in November to accept the 2016 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership given by Harvard University on behalf of the County.

The program is a partnership between nail salons, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Asian Health Services, and the counties of San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, and the City of Santa Monica. The purpose of the program is to improve ventilation and protect nail salon workers and customers from hazardous chemicals found in nail products.

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Food Placards: Have You Seen Them?

Have you seen these PASS placards around San Mateo County?

Have you seen these PASS placards around San Mateo County?

It’s been eleven months since Environmental Health Services (EHS) started putting up color-coded food placards as part of routine food inspections in San Mateo County.

Since January 2016, 86% of restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and other food facilities have enrolled in the program and are now displaying green “PASS” placards. EHS staff initially issued 38 yellow “CONDITIONAL PASS” and 29 red “CLOSED” placards, however through technical assistance provided all of these food facilities are now displaying green “PASS” placards.

Since the placards went live we’ve received some questions from you about the program, so we’ve summarized some quick facts about what the green, yellow and red colors mean and where to look for them the next time you head out to your favorite restaurant, cafeteria, or café.

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San Mateo County Wins Exciting Awards

Elizabeth Rouan and her award.

Elizabeth Rouan and her award.

San Mateo County attended a statewide conference in early November and came back with two awards we are very proud to share!

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Keep the Food Tricks Out of “Trick-or-Treating” this Halloween

halloweendessertHalloween can be a fun and spooky time of year for all with sweet treats and parties and the grand event of trick-or-treating.

To make sure this year’s trick-or-treating experience stays fun, Environmental Health Services recommends the following food safety tips for your scary celebration.

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Environmental Health Tips

ehtipsIn honor of tomorrow (October 5) being “National Do Something Nice Day,” Environmental Health Services (EHS) is relaying answers to some of its most frequently asked questions from the public and businesses.

From food inspections to hazardous waste dumping and everything in between, read on for useful tips that may come in handy in the future.

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2016 Coastal Cleanup Day is Another Success!

Volunteers at Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay ready for a cleanup.

Volunteers at Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay ready for a cleanup.

Last Saturday thousands of volunteers showed up in San Mateo County to clean up litter on shorelines, beaches, parks and neighborhoods in honor of Coastal Cleanup Day.

From Brisbane all the way down to Pescadero, over 3,871 volunteers of all ages showed how much of a difference one event can make. In just three hours volunteers collected an estimated 22,299 pounds of trash and 3,754 pounds of recyclables from over 33 sites on the bayside and coast by climbing hills and even wading through water! For a few volunteers it was worth it because they were lucky enough to uncover a few of the most unusual items of the day, such as a backpack full of crabs in Half Moon Bay and an old police radio in Burlingame.

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Stay Food Safe When Going Back to School

father_son_foodSummer is over which means the kids are back in school and you are back to packing lunches on the go. Before you start packing, Environmental Health Services want to remind you about a few food safety tips that will prevent your little ones (or not so little) from falling ill because of improper food handling.

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Environmental Health Helps Clear Invasive Species at San Bruno Mountain

Environmental Health Services staff helping out at San Bruno Mountain.

Environmental Health Services staff helping out at San Bruno Mountain.

On a foggy San Mateo County day, 35 Environmental Health Services employees volunteered to help remove invasive plants on the Bog Trail near Colma Creek at San Bruno Mountain State and County Park.

Staff spent two hours working with the San Mateo County Parks Department to remove invasive species like Cape Ivy, Radish and Poison Hemlock from taking over local native plant habitats covering over a quarter acre.

We thoroughly enjoyed being outside despite the dreary weather.

Check out some of our photos below:

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Get Ready for the 32nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day

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There are over 30 locations in San Mateo County to help clean up!

Join us on September 17th 9am-Noon to participate in California’s largest volunteer event that helps clean up and protect our beaches, shorelines, creeks, neighborhoods and parks in San Mateo County. These locations have historically been collection spots for trash and debris, and if not removed, can be harmful to marine wildlife and human health.

 

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