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Tips offered to keep foodborne illness out of the classroom

first_imgWashington D.C. — It’s the start of the new school year, which means new teachers, a bunch of homework assignments and the never-ending dilemma of what to include to make a healthy and safe school lunch.“As a mother, I understand the stress that comes with the start of a new school year, but preparing a safe lunch doesn’t have to be a challenge,” said Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. “Simple steps like washing your hands and keeping food at the correct temperature can stop the spread of bacteria and keep your children safe from foodborne illness.”Handwashing is the first and easiest step to avoid foodborne illnesses. A recent study by USDA found that 97 percent of the times participants should have washed their hands they did not do so correctly or at all. This poor hand hygiene caused participants to cross-contaminate other spice containers, refrigerator handles, even ready-to-eat foods and other areas of their kitchen with a harmless tracer bacteria.Because bacteria can live on surfaces for up to 32 hours, it’s easy to contaminate sandwich bread and lunch meat when preparing your child’s lunch. But this can be avoided by following a few basic food safety tips.Back to School Food Safety TipsMake sure lunch bags and coolers are clean before packing. Pack moist towelettes so children can clean hands before and after eating.Use an insulated lunch bag or cooler and at least two cold sources, such as freezer packs, for lunches that contain perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese or yogurt. This will help keep food safely cold at 40°F or below until lunch time.If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food at 140°F or above.For safety, instruct children to discard all leftover food and used food packaging.Food Safety BasicsKeep these basic food safety steps in mind when packing lunches, making dinner and preparing food all year round.Clean: Wash hands with soap and warm water, and surfaces with soap and hot water before and after handling food. Rinse raw produce in water before eating, cutting or cooking.Separate: Avoid spreading bacteria from one food product to another. Use two separate cutting boards — one for raw meat and poultry, and one for produce or ready to eat foods.Cook: The only way to make sure meat and poultry is safe to eat is to ensure it reaches the safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria. If sending soups, stews or chili to school, be sure to heat the food to 165°F, as measured by a food thermometer, before pouring it into an insulated container.Chill: At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes. To avoid this, make sure to chill all perishable foods within two hours (one hour in temperatures above 90°F). Discard any perishable foods that were left at room temperature longer than that.Consumers can learn more about key food safety practices at Foodsafety.gov, by following @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter, and by liking Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov. Consumers with questions about food safety can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.last_img read more

Adverse conditions see Paddy Power Betfair report tough opening to 2018

first_img Tabcorp double burdened by covid and group impairment charges August 19, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Share Submit FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Publishing its Q1 trading update (period ending 31 March), FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has reported a tough opening for 2018, as the firm’s corporate performance was impacted by several factors.Updating the market, PPB reports a 2% decline in group revenues to £408 million (Q1 2017: £416 million).The betting group detailed that its punters had been discouraged by a ‘series of sustained bookmaker friendly sports results recorded from November to February’.Furthermore, PPB’s racing markets had suffered from a number of event cancellations due to Q1 2018’s extreme UK weather conditions.Abroad, PPB details that the solid underlying growth of its Australia division has been offset by adverse sporting results, combined with a tougher regulatory environment in which the division operates.These adverse factors would see PPB report an 8% decline in underlying EBITDA to £102 million (Q1 2017: £111 million).Closing Q1 2018 trading, PPB governance would declare group underlying profits of £80 million, down 12% on corresponding Q1 2017’s £91 million.At present, PPB governance expects its full-year 2018 underlying group EBITDA to be between £470-495 million range, in-line with its 2017 performance. Corporate governance details that it will move to increase investment within its Australian division, whilst also exploring US market opportunities, should regulatory conditions change.Closing its trading update, PPB would confirm a £500 million cash return to its investors, as part of the betting group adopting a ‘more efficient capital structure’.Presenting his first trading update, as Paddy Power Betfair Group CEO, Peter Jackson commented on corporate performance:“We have made good progress against our strategic priorities. In Europe, the successful completion of our platform integration has resulted in a meaningful improvement to the Paddy Power product. This has seen the brand’s gaming revenue returning to growth from February and a significant uplift in Cash Out usage and in-running betting during the Cheltenham Festival.In Australia, Sportsbet continues to perform well and is targeting further market share growth, with additional investment planned to take advantage of any disruption arising from market consolidation and the introduction of increased taxes.In the USA, TVG and Betfaircasino.com have good momentum and we are continuing to make preparations for any positive regulatory changes. Notwithstanding lower profits in the first quarter, we expect full year underlying EBITDA of between £470m and £495m.We are today announcing that we intend to return £500m of cash to shareholders, representing a step towards a more efficient capital structure, whilst retaining substantial strategic flexibility.”last_img read more

Dr. Kent Brantly: Liberia Has a Very Special Place in Our Hearts

first_imgThe deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), which ravished the nation and brought it to its knees in 2014, has left in its wake stories that will be told for generations. It has even gone down in Liberian and world history as the worst form of the EVD ever to hit mankind. The World Health Organization (WHO) said more than 10,600 persons contracted the virus in Liberia. Of that number, nearly 5000, precisely 4,807 died from the virus. More than half of that number was cremated, which is totally against the traditional manner in which Liberians handle their dead.However, there are hundreds of others, who, by the grace of God, survived the scourge. One of the survivors, who has credited his survival from the disease to God’s miraculous intervention “in the affairs of man,” is Dr. (MD) Kent Brantly.Dr. Brantly was the first American to contract the EVD, while trying to selflessly save his patients, who had come to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital’s emergency room. Brantly had, by then, been working with ELWA for at least eight months. He had to be flown back to his home country for advanced medical treatment. After spending three weeks at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, he walked out of the hospital an EVD survivor.Our Health Correspondent met him Thursday, June 25, on the compound of ELWA hospital. He had come back to extend thanks and appreciation to his Liberian and US colleagues who looked after him when he fell sick before he was flown out of Liberia. The first part of this interview was published on Tuesday, June 30. Below is the second and final part:Daily Observer (DO): Have you been able to meet other American survivors like Nurse Nancy Writebol and others? What do you talk about when you meet?Kent Brantly (KB): I have met several of the American survivors, including Nancy. Nancy and I were close friends before we both got sick and we were in the hospital at the same time in America. So, we share something very close together and that will be a bond that we share for the rest of our lives. I am so glad that Nancy and her husband David are back in Liberia and working with SIM (Sudan Interior Mission) and working at ELWA to serve Liberia. I’m very proud of her. I have met Dr. Rick Sacra; he was my mentor here at ELWA hospital and I am so thankful to God that he’s well. He’s been back to Liberia a couple of times and working here at the hospital. I thank God for him. I have met several other American survivors and things we talk about…you know there have been two American survivors, who got Ebola in America. The rest of them were people who got the disease by working in West Africa. And that’s the thing that we all talk about. We recognize that it was so much harder for people here. Most of America can understand and America is paying so much attention to us and we are saying, ‘Don’t pay much attention to us. Pay attention to West Africa. That’s where we need to be focusing.’ So that is the thing that we talk about the most.DO: So, Doc, when you heard that Eric Duncan, the Liberian guy who took Ebola to America had passed away, how did you feel personally?KB: I was really heart broken when I heard that news. It just made me so sad. I still have not met his fiancée Louise Troh, but I hope to meet her someday. I felt so bad for his whole family. It was a very sad day.DO: When you go around the world or travel to places in the States, what messages do you give?KB: I have a few messages. One is that we are all neighbors-whether we live in America or West Africa, we are all neighbors. We live in a global community. We are all neighbors and God has called us to love our neighbors. Jesus said the two most important things in this life are to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. And that love for our neighbor ought to motivate us to have concern and to take action to help our neighbors in need. And in terms of Ebola, that means helping our West African neighbors trying to bring an end to this outbreak. That is one of the things I talk about the most.DO: Doc, let me take you back. How did you contract the Ebola disease?KB: I would never know. I really, I don’t know for sure. Initially the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), tried to do an investigation and tried to figure out and they came up with one idea but I was never quite convinced that was the right story…DO: What is the story?KB: I mean they just tried to figure out who I had contact with and who Nancy had contact with and there was one of our other co-worker, who also got Ebola and he died around the same time. I think I probably got it from a patient in the emergency room. Someone who came in with Ebola, but they thought at first that it was malaria or something else. I had to take care of the patients in the emergency room along with the staff here and in the emergency room. I think it was probably in one of those situations where I had made contact with the patient. Because of our work in the Ebola treatment Unit, we had all the proper equipment. We were following the right protocols. We were doing things appropriately. So I just had to guess that it was in the emergency room.DO: Do you still intend to practice as a Medical Doctor?KB: I do. You know once you are a doctor practicing medicine in the United States, they don’t want you to stay out of practice for too long, alright. So, I have started working a few shifts back at a hospital in America so that I can return to the practice of Clinical Medicine and someday, I will get back to it full time. But right now, I am doing it on the side as I continue to try to be a responsible steward of these opportunities to speak and remind people of the importance of loving our neighbors and helping West Africa beat Ebola.DO: After you survived the virus, did you have any post Ebola problems like some of the Ebola survivors here who are suffering from some medical conditions?KB: There is this problem called post-Ebola syndrome. It is a very real thing. It’s a problem that Ebola survivors have. Not everyone has it. Not everyone has the same problems. Some people have joint pains, muscle pains, eye problems, nerve pains… I am very thankful that I have made a full recovery and I don’t seem to have any of those problems. But we need to be helping the survivors who have those problems and there is a clinic here at ELWA to treat survivors. It should be publicized so that people know and can come here if they are Ebola survivors. They can come here to get care.DO: Lastly, if you are ever presented with the opportunity to come back to Liberia, are you going to come back?KB: Only God knows. We are praying for His guidance as we try to decide what to do next. Liberia has a very special place in our hearts. We are praying for guidance from God about what to do next.DO: Thank you so much, Sir.KB: Thank you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more