Did you know that local foods promote a safer food supply? The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution. Local food spends less time in the cycle from farm to table, and is less likely to be spoiled or contaminated by the time it gets to the consumer.
Here are some other solid reasons to eat local foods, according to Michigan State University Extension:
So what's in season in the fall? Apples, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, kale, parsnips, squash, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, to name a few. Enjoy these fruits and vegetables after washing thoroughly with CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to reduce contaminants. Learn more here!
Fall is almost here! There’s something magical about the season: the leaves, the weather, the boots… and most importantly for gardeners: the harvest! It’s time to pick many different fruits and vegetables such as peaches, grapes, watermelons, apples, pears, corn, pumpkin, and more. In addition to harvesting, it’s a great time to plant cooler-season foods and ornamentals. Read on to learn what you should be planting this time of year.
Pansies, blooming bulbs, garlic, natives/perennials, salad greens, peas, and radishes all are ready to be planted in the fall. Garlic will be ready in the summer, bulbs will pop out in the spring, pansies will provide color into the early winter, and salad greens will grow well into November or December in many zones.
Trees also need attention in the fall, as many places experience drought-like conditions over the winter and watering isn’t available everywhere in the winter. It’s important to get trees the hydration they need before the ground freezes. Run a hose out to trees and soak the ground underneath the canopy of the tree. Soak one tree every day until all trees have been soaked before a freeze.
When the weather has cooled down, it’s the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. Double check directions for your particular grass and zone, but in general, fall is a great time to prep the lawn for the following season. Maintaining a healthy root system is important.
Fall is a good time to apply RGA to lawns as well. RGA isn't just for large-scale agricultural usage. Use Rapid Growth Activator at home to enhance your yard and flowers, and to grow larger, more vibrant, and more delicious fruits and vegetables at home. Click here to learn more.
Labor Day is known for relaxing, fun, and FOOD! Grilling is a great way to make extra delicious food in a healthy way, but it comes with its own set of unique food safety challenges. Make sure you follow these rules to keep everything food safe!
When shopping for a grilled meal, pick up meat last. Make sure it is far away from other fresh food items like fruits and vegetables. Once you are home, immediately refrigerate food at 40 degrees F or below. Rinsing meat is not recommended due to the splashing that occurs, but for an extra cleaning measure, dip meat in CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for 5-10 seconds before grilling. CitroBio does not alter the smell, taste, or texture of food, and helps reduce harmful pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.
After carrying raw food out to the grill, make sure you place the dirty plate in the sink or dishwasher to be sanitized before it is reused. A separate clean plate should be used to transport the food back inside once it has been cooked. Never reuse the same plate unless it has been properly cleaned in between. Once the food has been cooked, thoroughly wash your tongs or utensils or use different ones for serving cooked food.
Food can quickly spoil when they’re outside in the sun. Be sure your grill is hot and ready before bringing food outside to be cooked. Raw food should go directly on the grill once it’s been brought outside.
You may think you know what “done” looks like, but sometimes in the outdoor lighting it can be hard to tell. Use a food thermometer to check that foods are at the proper temperature before they come off the grill, and give them the correct amount of time to rest before cutting and serving. You can view a chart of temperatures and resting times here.
At CitroBio, we are committed to food safety. Learn more about how our food wash controls pathogens and helps maintain healthy, safe food.
Back-to-School season is upon us. Kids are headed off to school with backpacks (and lunch boxes!) for a new year of learning. In order to keep food safe to eat throughout the day, there are some guidelines that should be followed. It is important to keep food out of the “danger zone” to control bacteria. Harmful bacteria thrive in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees F. So, perishable food that is toted to school needs to be kept piping hot in a Thermos or cold in a lunch bag until lunchtime or snack time. Here are some tips to avoid consuming unsafe food:
Make Sure Everything is Clean
Keep Cold Foods Cold and Hot Foods Hot
We hope you have a safe, terrific school year. Visit our products page to learn more about how CitroBio can keep you and your family food safe. CitroBio helps reduce Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and other harmful pathogens in food and on surfaces.
The U.S. FDA and CDC are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Uganda illnesses linked to Cavi brand whole, fresh papayas. The FDA asked for a voluntary recall of Cavi brand papayas, which were imported from Mexico and sold in June and July. Illnesses have been reported in eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas. Consumers are urged to throw away any Cavi brand papayas they may have in their homes.
Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses and a fever. Most people infected will show symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. Most people feel better within a week and don't require treatment, but people with weakened immune systems, children under 5, and the elderly, are at a greater risk of complications.
Since this illness was attributed to whole papayas, it is likely that those who prepared the papayas did not wash them before cutting into them. This is an extremely important step in the food safety process, as harmful pathogens can be pushed right into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable by a knife if the outside is not properly cleaned before preparation. It is also important to select fruit that does not have any obvious tears, holes, or blemishes.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on all types of food and surfaces, it does not change the flavor, color, or smell of food. CitroBio has proven effectiveness against Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and more. Learn more about CitroBio!
It’s summertime and that means some of the best produce of the year! Here is your guide to delicious summer fruits and vegetables:
Arugula - this spicy leafy green can perk up any salad - just wash and enjoy raw.
Avocados - make guacamole, add them to a salad, or just cut them and eat them with a squeeze of lime juice!
Beets - packed with vitamins and perfect for soups, purees, wraps, and salads.
Berries - enjoy raw, in a smoothie, as dessert, or a snack - the possibilities are endless.
Chard - sauté the leaves simply with garlic and olive oil, stuff them with filling as you would grape leaves, or use them anywhere you’d use spinach or beet greens.
Cherries - this nature’s candy can be enjoyed as a snack or in desserts, salads and more.
Chile Peppers - offering the perfect amount of spice to add to salsa, tacos, burritos.
Corn - the best way to enjoy corn in summer is on the grill! Remove silks and wrap the corn in foil, leaving the husk intact. Cook on a hot grill for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Cucumbers - try peeling, slicing and soaking in the refrigerator in a mixture of sliced onion, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Delicious!
Eggplant - a robust vegetable that can be used in place of steak or smothered in sauce and cheese and baked as eggplant parmesan.
Figs - their sweetness makes them a welcome addition to desserts, breakfast sweets, and baked goods as well as a natural complement for savory foods like meat and cheese.
Green Beans - simply saute green beans in butter and season with salt and pepper.
Herbs - there are many ways to enjoy herbs, but a great way to save them is to freeze them in olive oil in an ice tray, then store in ziploc bags in the freezer. Fresh herbs all year!
Melons - the ultimate summer fruit, need we say more?
Okra - fried okra is a southern staple - coat with egg, then in seasoned cornmeal, fry and enjoy!
Potatoes - the old standby; there is nothing like a loaded baked potato to stand by a nice summer steak on the grill.
Salad Greens - summer and salad go together so well. Make mason jar salads that will last up to a week in the refrigerator; there are many ideas on Pinterest!
Spinach - toss a handful in a smoothie for a nutritious drink that even the kids will love.
Summer Squash - saute, roast, or heat in a foil packet on the grill for a yummy side to complement any summer meal.
Tomatillos - dice and toss in your favorite fresh salsa recipe for an added burst of flavor and color.
Tomatoes - speaking of salsa, there is nothing like a nice pico de gallo on a warm summer day!
Whatever summer produce you are cooking with, it is important to practice good food safety techniques and thoroughly wash and clean fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat to help prevent food-borne illness. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to remove contaminants. To learn more about CitroBio, click here.
U.S. Consumers are advised to avoid oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico, due to links to an outbreak of foodborne illness, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated. If you have purchased oysters from this region, which have been sold primarily in California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona, you should throw them away or take them back for a full refund.
Shigella illness, or Shigellosis, is a bacteria that spreads from contaminated feces. It can spread via water that an infected person has been in. Food can become contaminated via cross-contamination when it is handled by an infected person that does not use proper hand hygiene after using the restroom, or if contaminated water is used in the process of growing or preparing food, according to the FDA.
Severe illnesses can occur from Shigellosis in those with weakened immune systems, small children, and the elderly. Symptoms generally develop within 8 hours to 2 days. It is usually mild, producing diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, and fever. If you think you have been infected, you should seek medical treatment just in case.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can help reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. View our products page to learn more.
Frozen Signature Select Avocado chunks from Nature's Touch Frozen Foods (West) Inc. have been voluntarily recalled due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Consumers should look for bags with a UPC of 2113009412, with a "best before" date of October 11, 2020. This product was distributed at Albertsons, Safeway, Safeway Community Markets, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Lucky, Pak N Save, Pavilions, and Vons stores. Consumers who have bought this products should discard it or return to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Listeria can cause an infection called Listeriosis that results in about 260 deaths annually. The infection is especially dangerous to an unborn fetus, so pregnant women are advised to avoid any foods that may contain Listeria. A recent study found that 1 in 5 avocados are contaminated with Listeria, and avocados should be thoroughly washed before cutting or preparing. Read more about this study and the importance of washing avocados.
Click here to buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.
Caito Foods, LLC, an Indianapolis-based company has issued a voluntary recall for melon products sold in 16 states after being linked to a salmonella outbreak. The FDA said Friday that the recall includes their cut watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. The fruit has been sold under various brands or labels at Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe's, Target and Whole Foods. The affected states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Salmonella Carrau can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the frail or elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. In rare cases, Salmonella can result in an infection in the bloodstream. The CDC and FDA has linked 93 illnesses to the strain of Salmonella under investigation.
When choosing produce, try to find products that are grown as locally as possible. This does not guarantee their safety, but it does limit the amount of people and locations that have been involved in getting it to you, and generally means it has been sitting around for a shorter amount of time. Although this recall is for cut melon, when preparing your own whole produce, remember to follow the most important food safety rule: wash all produce thoroughly. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash helps to control pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and more.
Making homemade sushi can save you a lot of money if you are a regular sushi eater. Many establishments even offer fun classes where you can learn to make your own rolls! Making sushi at home can be fun and safe if you follow common food safety rules.
Sushi-grade fish is just a label that doesn’t have a specific guideline, but this label generally means the fish has frozen to kill any parasites before being consumed raw. Many sushi-grade products are flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen right on fishing boats. This preserves freshness and texture, and maintains the same experience you would receive eating fish at a sushi restaurant.
When selecting fish at the store or market, research to make sure they are reputable. You want a market that is busy and is constantly having to replenish its stock of fish. Don't be afraid to ask questions, like where the fish came from, how long it’s been there, if it was processed at the store and how they avoid cross-contamination once it’s there. Most importantly, be sure to touch and smell the fish. It should not smell “fishy,” but should have an ocean smell. Make sure the colors are vibrant and the fish looks healthy.
Any time you are handling raw food, be sure you wash your hands first before handling the food, and wash your hands before touching any surfaces, tools, or ingredients. Use separate plates for everything. Always keep the fish a distance away from hot, cooked foods and sources of heat or sunlight, and be sure to keep it at a safe temperature.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used while making sushi to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness. It does not change the flavor, color, texture, or small of food. To learn more, read our seafood page. Buy CitroBio on Amazon today!
The Food and Drug Administration has begun sampling frozen berries for several viral and bacterial hazards, to protect consumers and ensure food safety. This sampling is expected to last around 18 months. The agency is collecting domestic samples in retail packaging from processors, distribution centers, warehouses, and retailers; as well as imported samples from ports of entry, importer warehouses, and storage facilities. Two thousand samples in all will be tested. If the FDA detects contaminants, the agency will notify the public and take appropriate action to stop an impact on public health.
The FDA has reported three hepatitis A virus and one norovirus outbreak linked to frozen berries in the United States over the past several years. While these are small numbers, these foodborne illnesses can be serious. Hepatitis A symptoms typically start 2 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus and are more likely in adults and kids older than 6. HAV can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as fever, loss of appetite, darker than usual urine (pee), jaundice (when the skin and whites of the eyes look yellow), and abdominal (belly) pain. Norovirus symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Norovirus symptoms last one to three days, and most people recover completely without treatment. However, for some people - especially infants, older adults and people with underlying disease - vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention.
Frozen berries are used as ingredients in many foods without cooking, which enhances the danger of foodborne illness. Freezing preserves the berries but does not kill viruses that can survive at low temperatures. Berries are also delicate and have many crevices that can harbor pathogens. If farm or packing facility workers do not use proper hand hygiene, and storage surfaces aren't properly cleaned, foodborne illnesses can easily spread.
When choosing produce, try to find products that are grown as locally as possible. This does not guarantee their safety, but it does limit the amount of people and locations that have been involved in getting it to you, and generally means it has been sitting around for a shorter amount of time. When preparing food, remember to follow the most important food safety rule: wash all produce thoroughly. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash helps to control pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and more.
Jensen Tuna of Louisiana is voluntarily recalling frozen ground tuna imported from JK Fish, because it may potentially be contaminated with Salmonella. The frozen product, individually packaged in clear plastic one-pound bags, is sold in white wax 20 lb. boxes. The product is only sold as a wholesale case with twenty bags in each case. The lot numbers are z266, z271 and z272. No other tuna products are impacted or part of this recall.
The product was sold to wholesalers in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, and Washington. These wholesalers further distribute the product to restaurants and retail locations. The product was distributed from November 30, 2018 to March 15, 2019. Restaurants and retailers should check with their suppliers and not sell or serve recalled frozen ground tuna and should wash and sanitize locations where recalled ground tuna was stored. Consumers with concerns should ask their restaurants and retailers whether the tuna dish they are purchasing contained the recalled ground tuna.
CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can help reduce the risk of Salmonella infection. View our products page to learn more.
Health officials throughout the U.S. are investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella carrau linked to pre-cut melon from Indianapolis-based Caito Foods, LLC.
Caito Foods issued a recall late last week for pre-cut watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and fruit medley. The recalled products were packaged in clear, plastic clamshell containers and distributed to multiple stores, including independent retailers. The recalled products have also been sold under various brands or labels at Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Target and Whole Foods.
Health officials advise consumers to check packaging to determine if the melon was distributed by Caito Foods, and if so, to dispose of the products. They also advise consumers to dispose of any pre-cut melon products if they are unsure of where it was produced. Retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve the recalled products, say health officials.
In nine states, 93 cases have been reported, with illnesses starting on dates ranging from March 4 to March 31, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Illinois, five cases have been reported in the northeastern part of the state from mid-to-late March, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
IDPH is still investigating where the melon products were distributed in the state, so others could potentially be exposed in the state, according to an IDPH press release.
Salmonella carrau can cause symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever and dehydration. Anyone experiencing symptoms 12-72 hours after eating pre-cut melon should contact a health care provider and tell them you recently ate melon.
For more information and updates on the outbreak, visit the CDC’s website.
The FDA has put out an alert about papayas imported from Mexico. Mexico produces 11% of the world's papayas, and 65% of all papayas imported into the U.S. This makes Mexico the largest exporter of fresh papayas into the U.S.
Evidence has shown "widespread" salmonella contamination of papayas from Mexico. In the past (2011), there was a multi-state outbreak of human infections of salmonellosis, with over 100 people infected with the organism across several states. Based on the investigation of this outbreak, it had been associated with at least one grower and shipper in Mexico.
Salmonella lives in human and other animals' digestive tracts. The organism may be transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with Salmonella. The FDA believes the Mexican papaya Salmonella is not due to a random contamination event that occurred in nature, and has given districts the ability to detain all raw, fresh papaya from the country of Mexico. The importer is expected to provide results of a third-party analysis ensuring Salmonella is not present.
When properly washed and prepared, papaya is a healthful part of a balanced diet. To prevent bacteria and dirt from transferring from the peel to the inside of the fruit, clean the skins thoroughly before prepping. Wash carefully with cool running water, and scrub the papaya with a produce brush. For an extra level of protection, use CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to further remove dangers that could be lurking on the surface of papayas before peeling or slicing. Dry the papaya with a paper towel before preparing.
Buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today!
Grass-fed beef comes from cows that consume only grass and other foraged foods. What a cow eats directly affects the levels and kinds of nutrients (and fats) that you get from eating its meat. Meat from 100% grass-fed cows is packed with more nutrition than from a conventionally farmed, grain-fed cow. The grazing of grass and roughage rather than being confined and fed a diet of processed foods makes a difference.
Often, conventional beef cattle eat a diet that includes grains, such as corn, at some point. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, grass-fed beef may have:
Lean beef that's 10 percent fat or less — whether it's grass-fed beef or another type of beef — can be part of a heart-healthy diet.
Grass-fed beef tastes better when the grass is nutritious, and healthy pastures rich in nutrients are essential for the best grass-fed meat. Citro Industries carries two products that are useful for grass-fed beef production and consumption:
Rapid Growth Activator is an all-natural product designed to deliver the nutrients that soil needs to grow beautiful, vibrant grass. RGA contains the perfect combination of beneficial soil bacteria, nutrients and vitamins to create the best possible solution for your fields. The use of RGA reduces the need for insecticides and fertilizers. It can be applied to compost to assist micro-organism activity to break down organic matter, works in synergy with the soil, and reduces insect damage and disease intensity.
CitroBio is a cleaning product that utilizes the natural power of citrus extract. Use it to clean slaughter area and product contact surfaces. CitroBio also can be used directly on food. It helps control bacteria and maintain freshness. CitroBio Uses:
Around 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, but just 2% of imported seafood is being inspected in the United States. This is an alarmingly small percentage, as half of all imported seafood comes from farms and is not wild-caught, according to the Government Accountability Office. Foreign farm-raised seafood is often kept in unsanitary and cruel conditions, and is pumped full of undesirable substances, such as antibiotics to keep sick seafood alive, and steroids to make the seafood grow bigger, faster.
Seafood can be rejected if it contains banned antibiotics, steroids, chemical dyes, bacteria, or is putrid or decomposed; but since imported seafood isn’t being widely tested, what can U.S. consumers do to protect themselves?
Second to seafood being rotten upon arrival, the most common reason for seafood being rejected is banned antibiotics, with bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter coming in third. These organisms can infect consumers with antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and sicken up to 400,000 Americans every year. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to help remove contaminants from food. Purchase on Amazon now.
There is a new warning for avocado lovers from federal officials. The US Food and Drug Administration is advising people to wash avocados before eating them, even though the skin does not get consumed. When avocados are prepared, bacteria and dirt are pushed on to or into the fruit, and can contaminate the avocado.
Recently, a study done by the FDA showed that approximately 1 in 5 (17.73%) of avocado skins were infected with Listeria monocytogenes. A handful (<1%) of avocado skins also contained Salmonella. Listeria can cause an infection called Listeriosis that results in about 260 deaths annually. The infection is especially dangerous to an unborn fetus, so pregnant women are advised to avoid any foods that may contain Listeria.
According to the FDA, the only way to prevent bacteria and dirt from transferring from the peel to the insides is to wash the skins thoroughly before prepping. Wash carefully with cool running water, and scrub the avocado with a produce brush. For an extra level of protection, use CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to further remove dangers that could be lurking on the surface of avocados before peeling or slicing. Dry the avocados with a paper towel before preparing.
When properly washed and prepared, avocados are a safe, nutritious and delicious part of a healthy diet. One of the most versatile ways to fit more avocado into your day is to make guacamole. Click here to see our favorite guacamole recipe. Click here to buy CitroBio Fresh Food Wash for food safety on Amazon today.
Most people know the importance of ensuring raw meat is handled properly for food safety, but lately, it seems that produce has more often been the source of foodborne illnesses and recalls. This makes sense if you think about it, as many fruits and vegetables are consumed raw, without the benefit of cooking to kill off unwanted bacteria. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but with all of the news about contaminated produce, it’s easy to worry about protecting your family from food poisoning. Here are some ways you can cut down on the risk of foodborne illness from produce:
When choosing produce:
Avoid high risk foods such as sprouts and melon if you have a weakened immune system
The 2018 romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak continued to grow this past month, as the CDC announced that a total of 52 people had been affected in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nineteen people ended up in the hospital, including two who experienced kidney failure. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.
Hydroponically and greenhouse grown lettuce was not affected by the outbreak. Romaine lettuce that is considered safe is now being sold with a harvested date on the labels, letting consumers know it was harvested after the outbreak was identified. The affected lettuce was grown in California near Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura. Consumers are still being advised to avoid romaine lettuce harvested from that region as the investigation is ongoing, and a common grower or distributor has not been identified.
Lettuce can be a key part of a healthy diet. When choosing produce, try to find products that are grown as locally as possible. This does not guarantee their safety, but it does limit the amount of people and companies that have been involved in getting it to you, and generally means it has been sitting around for a shorter amount of time. When preparing food, remember to follow the most important food safety rule: wash all produce thoroughly. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash helps to control pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and more. Buy on Amazon today.
It’s soon to be the most wonderful time of the year! Thanksgiving is a holiday full of tradition, but it also can be a giant pathogen fest if you’re not practicing food safety throughout grocery shopping, storing, preparation, and cooking. The holidays are also unfortunately timed right in the middle of cold and flu season, meaning anyone preparing food for your party or potluck may have germs and/or viruses clinging to their fingers while preparing food. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly before cooking, and after handling any raw meat, and don’t feel bad reminding others to do so, as well.
Here are some other tips and tricks to remain healthy during the holidays:
From all of us at CitroBio, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope your holiday is safe and enjoyable. Click here to read more turkey cooking tips.