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A Quick Science Lesson

Chalkboard

Let’s stop and think about what food is for a moment.  Food is organic material, coming from either Plants, Animals, or Fungus.  Meat comes from a slaughtered animal that has been dissected piece by piece and ground up into hamburger meat or dipped in batter to later be fried. Vegetables grow right up out of manure from the ground. Mushrooms are, in fact, a fungus.

Food is inherently unsanitary. Food comes from once-living things that have been harvested, taken apart and repackaged in hopes of arriving at their final destination before decomposition sets in.

In short, food is kind of gross when you think about it, and it can get even grosser if you don’t know how to properly prepare, store and cook it.

Of course, the point we’re trying to make here isn’t just that food starts out icky, but rather, that health concerns should be of the highest priority when working in the food industry.

The fact is that food is not merely prone to come in contact with germs and parasites and the like, but that food is inherently tainted. Food inherently carries bacteria and other pathogens. Keeping food safe for your customers or dinner guests is not a matter of preventing the food from coming into contact with germs, but of keeping those germs to a minimum, killing bacteria through freezing and cooking processes, and in keeping the food as safe and healthy as possible.

The bottom line is that, every time you eat anything, you are ingesting potentially harmful bacteria and all sorts of other nasties, but, fortunately, the human immune system is quite capable of dealing with E. coli or salmonella… in small doses, at least.

With this in mind, we give you…

A Brief Lesson in Pathogens

We’ll begin with a brief definition of a pathogen-

A pathogen, or a germ, is identified as being a biological agent capable of causing disease or illness to its host.

The body itself is capable of defending against common pathogens by way of the human immune system, as well as through helpful bacteria which occur in the human body’s normal flora However, should this defence system, either the human immune system or helpful bacteria be damaged in any way, such as through chemotherapy, HIV, or antibiotics (often taken to kill existing pathogens), then pathogenic bacteria or viruses can easily infect, proliferate and, in some cases, become terminal.

The fact is that every pathogen is capable of killing its host. Without a defence system in place, there is nothing to keep bacteria from simply eating and eating away at the host without cease.

A number of pathogens, such as Yersinia pestis, believed to have been the cause of the Black Plague, and the Malaria protozoa, have been responsible for casualties on a massive scale.

Types of Pathogen

Pathogens can be either viral, bacterial, fungal or pr ionic.

Viral pathogens generally fall into the families of:

· Adenovirida

· Herpesviridae

· Hepadnaviridae

· Flaviviridae

· Picomaviridae

· Retroviridae

· Orthomyxoviridae

· Paramyxoviridae

· Papovaviridae

· Rhabdoviridae or

· Togaviridae.

Notable viral pathogens include smallpox, influenza, measles, chickenpox, Ebola, the mumps and rubella.

Interestingly, the vast majority of bacterial pathogens are either harmless or, in fact, beneficial, but there are those that can lead to infectious disease. The most common bacterial disease is T.B., or tuberculosis, which is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacteria which affects about two million people, with the majority being in sub-Saharan Africa.

The most common strains of food borne bacterial pathogen include shigella, campylobacter and salmonella. Pathogenic bacteria can cause infections including tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, syphilis and even leprosy (though this is hardly common in the 21st Century). Bacterial infections are generally dealt with by way of antibiotics.

Fungal pathogens are capable of causing disease in humans, animals and even plants. This type of pathogen typically infects immuno-compromised people or vulnerable individuals with weakened immune systems. The majority of antibiotics cannot be used to treat fungal infections as fungi and their hosts both have eukaryotic cells.

A prion is a pathogen that does not contain nucleic acids. Associated conditions include Mad Cow Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Transmission

Pathogens can be transmitted in several ways. Here we’ll deal with airborne, blood borne and food borne pathogens.

Blood borne pathogens are not necessarily transmitted strictly through contact with blood, but can also be transmitted through other bodily fluids such as saliva, mucus and tears.

Airborne pathogens are those which are transmitted through the air. This can include those transmitted through sneezing, coughing, or simply those drifting in the air.

Not to alarm you, but the air you breath is literally packed with all sorts of bacteria and other substances, including, but not limited to, dead skin flakes and microscopic bits of faecal matter. There is simply no getting away from airborne pathogens. While more extreme measures of controlling airborne pathogens may be put in place in places such as hospitals and treatment centres, the primary method for dealing with airborne pathogens is simply in ensuring that they do not cause infection.

The truth is that food will come into contact with pathogens, and so, proper cooking and clean hands are a requisite in keeping these pathogens from spreading and causing infection or disease.

Food borne pathogens are those which are, of course, transmitted through food.

Understanding Salmonella

The chief offender with regards to salmonella would be, of course, poultry. Typically, poultry contracts salmonella due to unhygienic thawing methods. It is of course common to use ice water to thaw chicken, but using, say, warm water, instead, can easily attract bacteria and cause it to multiply. This is because the melt water contains condensation from the chicken, which proves to be a literal Petri dish for the minuscule amount of the bacteria already in the water.

This same principle applies to all other foods, as well. Unclean food, food not prepared to the proper temperatures, food left out for too long are all breeding grounds for the minuscule amounts of salmonella in the water and air to thrive and multiply.

E. Coli

E. Coli, or Escherichia Coli, is a gram negative bacterium most commonly found in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals. The majority of E. Coli strains are, perhaps surprisingly, harmless. Several other strains, however, can be responsible for serious food poisoning in humans.

The harmless strains of E. Coli are actually a part of the normal flora of the human gut and can actually benefit the host by producing vitamin K, as well as preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine.

E. Coli can typically only survive outside of the body for brief periods of time, however, food that has not been prepared properly makes for a fertile breeding ground for the bacteria, and should infection occur, serious and life threatening complications can possibly take place.

The Severity of the Situation

As mentioned above, pathogens are everywhere. They’re in every meal you eat, they thrive on your hands and they’re in the air you’re breathing right now. It’s simply a fact of life that germs are everywhere, even on Mars (if those fossils recovered in the mid-nineties are to be believed).

The importance of serving safe and hygienic food, then, is quite a priority. We can never ensure that the food that we serve is one hundred percent free of pathogens, but we can, fortunately, make sure that those pathogens are kept to safe enough levels that the average individuals immune system will be able to efficiently deal with any germs that come in contact with the body.

Here we will emphasise the number one point…

Wash your Hands

c4577-2a3602_de0b6f24c2e448fcb3a6160c6ee76830mv2We’ll warn you here and now that you should expect us to “get on our high horse” about this one a few more times before this text is finished. The fact is that keeping your hands clean is the absolute number one best method for preventing the spread of pathogens in a kitchen environment.  Keep your hands clean, apply latex gloves any time you need to come in direct contact with food, and your battle with food borne pathogens is already half-won.

Link’s

  1. Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education 

  2. Food Safety Network 

  3. Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine 

  4. Health Canada 


Pork Roast It’s Whats For Dinner

Pork Roast

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy

A pork loin is marinated with a nice rub flavored with thyme and three chilies.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless pork loin roast

Directions

  1. Mix brown sugar, pepper, salt, garlic powder, mustard powder, ground ginger, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, and thyme in a bowl. Rub spice mixture over pork loin and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place pork on a 9×13-inch baking dish and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove plastic wrap from pork and discard; return pork to baking dish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until pork is slightly pink in the center, about 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Cover pork loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Poisonous Foods You Are Probably Eating

Sport Drinks

You may think that you’re refueling, topping up on electrolytes, but sport drinks within America contain some harsh chemicals. All the major name brands use brominate vegetable oil in their citrus-flavoured beverages and sport drinks.

Vegetable oil

that doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, brominated vegetable oil was originally patented as a flame retardant. It is known to increase your risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases, as well as a wide range of other problematic symptoms. The worst part is, it’s known to bioaccumulate in human tissue. Get into the habit of drinking more water and ditch these toxic products.

Cassava (Yuca)

Though not too widely used in the United States, cassava is a woody shrub that is generally found in the Caribbean and South America. When using cassava, it can either be made to be sweet or bitter. The taste, as well as the smell, all depends on the amount of cyanogenic glucosides, which are in fact, extremely poisonous. Most who prepare it like it to be bitter, as it keeps away insects and even animals. If cassava is prepared incorrectly, it can be deadly. Cassava poisoning, due to high levels of Cyanide, is known as Konzo. Cassava poisoning leads to irreversible paralysis.

Interesting fact: Cassava roots are ground into a flour-like substance which is then used to make tapioca. Cassava leaves contain cyanide but if pounded into a paste with flour and left in the shade for 5 hours, the cyanide is broken down.

Bread Containing Brominated Flour

From wraps to bagels, bread crumbs to baked goods, any commercially baked food that contain brominated flour, is essentially toxic. Enriched with potassium bromate, this chemical is supposed to increase elasticity.

Many bread products are already known to increase issues surrounding obesity and diabetes, however, the addition of potassium bromate makes matters worse. It has been linked to decreased nervous system function, thyroid complications, cancer, and kidney damage. Invest in a bread maker, so you know exactly what you’re consuming.

Farmed Salmon

There’s no doubt that salmon is an incredibly healthy source of fat and protein, as well as a number of other Vitamins and minerals. Where your salmon is sourced, however, will make a significant difference regarding its health benefits and in this case, health risks. Not only do farm-raised salmon contain 50 percent less omega-3 fatty acids, they are also potentially exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals.

It’s been found that farm-raised salmon contain higher levels of mercury, PCBs, and dioxins than wild-caught salmon. To make them appear more pink, they’re fed petrochemicals — not to mention the chemicals that are found within their daily diet. The real worry is that up to 90 percent of these toxins bioaccumulate in the human body and can be passed onto your firstborn child.

Puffer fish

Puffer fish stand to be the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world. Though you won’t find puffer fish in the U.S., many in Korea as well as Japan find some parts of the fish to be delicacies. However, certain organs of the fish, such as the liver, as extremely toxic, and can be deadly. The poison in the fish, known as tetrodotoxin, can cause numbness, high blood pressure, and muscle paralysis, which is what leads to death as the diaphragm muscles become Paralyzed, disabling breathing. Known as fugu when eaten as a meal, many in Asian countries refuse to stop eating the fish.

Interesting fact: Puffer fish has been made illegal to be eaten by the Emperor of Japan.

 

Meat Tainted with Ractopamine

It’s no secret that conventionally raised meat is packed with chemicals, not to mention the horrendous conditions that some animals are exposed to. You may think you are only eating chemicals relating to their food, but pigs, cattle, and turkeys are all injected with Ractopamine – a drug that was originally used to treat asthma.

It’s a muscle relaxer, that is known to reduce the fat content in meat. When you purchase that meat, as much as 20 percent remains, which you then consume. Unbelievably, since 1998, nearly 2,000 people have been poisoned after eating pigs that were fed this drug. Within dairy herds, it has been shown to cause disability and death. In terms of human health, this drug attacks the cardiovascular system and can cause chromosomal abnormalities.

Macaroni and Cheese

Besides the preservatives that are added to this heavily processed food, boxed macaroni and cheese contain two dangerous food dyes – Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Considering this food is often fed to children, the research regarding these additives is alarming.

Although behavioral issues aren’t necessarily fatal, they can be extremely detrimental to one’s well-being. These dyes have been linked to a number of serious behavioral issues, including hyperactivity and learning disabilities. Since they’re petroleum-based, they’ve also been associated with cancer.

Fat-Free Snacks

Fat-free snacks are known to promote weight gain, typically due to their high sugar content, but that’s not all you need to worry about. Fat-free potato chips, for instance, often contain Olean or Olestra and is stated in the media to be one of the top 50 worst inventions.

A wide range of side effects have been reported based on the consumption of Olestra, including significant weight gain, intestinal issues, and worst of all, a depletion of fat-soluble vitamins. If your body cannot absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, you increase your risk of disease. Currently banned in Canada and the UK, the United States continues to distribute this additive.

rBGH Milk and Dairy

There’s no doubt that Americans love dairy products, however, in order to keep up with the demand, rBGH was developed. This artificial hormone mimics natural bovine somatotropin — the hormone which increases the production of milk.

Injected into one out of every six cows, this synthetic hormone causes significant adverse effects. Cows have been shown to suffer from 16 related health conditions, including high rates of mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue). Once consumed by humans, it increases your risk of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

 

Why ADULTERATION OF FOOD is Killing You

#WhyADULTERATIOOFFOODisKillingYou #ADULTERATION #straightouttamykitchen #adulteration

ADULTERATION OF FOOD. “Adulteration” is a legal term meaning that a food product fails to meet federal or state standards. Adulteration usually refers to noncompliance with health or safety standards as determined, in the United States, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Definition of Adulterated Food

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act (1938) provides that food is “adulterated” if it meets any one of the following criteria:

(1) it bears or contains any “poisonous or deleterious substance” which may render it injurious to health;

(2) it bears or contains any added poisonous or added deleterious substance (other than a pesticide residue, food additive, colour additive, or new animal drug, which are covered by separate provisions) that is unsafe;

(3) its container is composed, in whole or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health; or

(4) it bears or contains a pesticide chemical residue that is unsafe.

(Note: The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] establishes tolerances for pesticide residues in foods, which are enforced by the FDA.)

The Pica Eating Disorder Article of Your Dreams!

#Pica, #EatingDisorder #straightouttamykitchen #funfoodfacts #substancenotcommonlyconsideredtobefood #ArticleofYourDreams

A person afflicted with Pica has a persistent craving for a substance that is not commonly considered to be food. The substances that are craved and ingested tend to vary with the person’s age. Children with pica may eat glue, animal droppings, sand, insects, leaves, or gravel. Adolescents and adults may consume clay, laundry detergent, or soil.

Although the cravings associated with pica may be related to vitamin or mineral deficiencies, ingesting non-foods can cause serious medical complications such as intestinal obstruction, intestinal perforation, infections, or lead poisoning. Pica is most frequently seen in young children and pregnant women. While the exact cause for pica is still uncertain, factors such as emotional deprivation, poverty, poor nutrition, anemia, neglect, lack of parental supervision, or developmental delay increase the risk for a person developing this eating disorder.

There are no laboratory tests for pica. Instead, the diagnosis is made from a clinical history of the patient.

Diagnosing Pica should be accompanied by tests for anemia, potential intestinal blockages, and toxic side effects of substances consumed (i.e., lead in paint)

It is unclear how many people are affected by Pica. It most likely is more prevalent in developing countries.

Pica can affect children, adolescents, and adults of any genders.

Those who are pregnant and craving nonfood items should only be diagnosed with Pica when their cravings lead to Ingesting nonfood items, and the Ingestion of those items poses a potential medical risk (either due to the quantity or type of item being ingested). 

Pica can be associated with intellectual disability, Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), and Excoriation (skin picking) disorder.

Check Out These Links

25 Most Unbelievable Non-Food Items People Have Actually Eaten

Pica For Parent’s

Mental Health and Pica