"Summer Food Safety" by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis
Also the diet in Summer must be much cooler and moister, than in Winter: for in that season we draw in by breathing farre hotter aire: the Sunne also infuseth into vs a burning heat, and sucketh out much of our moisture.
From The copy of a letter written by E.D. Doctour of Physicke to a gentleman, published in London 1606. pp. 9
likewise Head-akes, and Vomitings, caused by sharp Chorerick Humours, which the SummerDiet breeds
From The worlds olio written by the Right Honorable, the Lady Margaret Newcastle. 1655
With the summer season rapidly approaching, and the event calendar filling up with numerous outdoor events, the need to dine out doors is again upon us. Be it camping, a contributed dish potluck or a grill session after a combat melee practice, the summer season demands recipes suitable for the outdoors.
The adage that one often hears is: Hot food hot; cold food cold but what does this saying mean in practical terms and how does someone not inadvertently poison his or her family, household or the royal luncheon? In this case it means hold hot foods above 140 degrees F and cold foods below 40 degrees F. It turns out that food borne illnesses really do peak during the warm summer months. The following Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) guide http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Foodborne_Illness_Peaks_in_Summer/index.asp explains that by observing food preparation many of these illnesses can be avoided. Such simple steps as 1. Clean: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often; 2. Separate: Don't Cross-Contaminate; 3. Cook: Cook to Proper Temperatures; and 4. Chill: Refrigerate Promptly will prevent many outbreaks.
A number of these very helpful and very user-friendly FSIS guides can be used and even understood without a requisite degree in Nutrition or Food Sciences. One way to locate this information is to use the handy informative Gateway to Government Food Safety Information at: www.foodsafety.gov
The USDA also offers a number of these guidelines, which are updated as new information becomes available. It makes sense therefore to keep checking back from time to time to see what has been changed. For instance in 2006, it was announced that "For safety, when cooking poultry, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature. Poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F throughout the product." This is actually a reduction from the 180 degrees F, which was the previous advice. The USDA food page can be found here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/home/index.asp
Other interesting FSIS guidelines include:
Seasonal Food Safety http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Seasonal_Food_Safety_Fact_Sheets/index.asp
Handy chart on egg storage (& hard boiled eggs)
The poultry fact sheets are indexed at:
Society members may also like this handy guide/.pdf file titled Food Safety at Temporary Events:
Another handy source is FightBAC as in Fight Bacteria:
Pamphlet on Food safety during and after an emergency situation in a another .pdf:
Food Safety Throughout the Food System:
Many agriculture organizations also offer summer tips. Eating chicken? Try http://www.eatchicken.com/ for cooking tips and a consumer guide. Pork is at http://www.theotherwhitemeat.com/ Beef is at http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipes/default.asp
Weber Grills also offers recipes and notes that for their recipes remember that cooking times in charts and recipes are approximate and based on 70 degrees F (20 degrees C) weather with little or no wind. (Cooking times for meat, poultry, and fish have been tested with the foods at refrigerator temperature.) Allow more cooking time on cold or windy days, or at higher altitudes, and less in extremely hot weather. This is good basic advice when adjusting cooking times. http://www.weber.com/recipes/Tips/
Cooperative Home Extension is not what it used to be before the draconian budget cuts, and may not exist at all in the near future should there be more cuts. Relating to this topic of food safety, Michigan State University still offers information at: http://www.fooddomain.msu.edu/consumerinfo.asp
The one essential kitchen tool is the culinary thermometer. Buy a couple and take them with you when you camp or cook outdoors. (They aren't much good at events if they are buried in kitchen drawer back home.) http://www.chefscatalog.com/ has them along with other cool grilling tools. Watch for sales in July as they clear the shelves. Lastly, try http://www.ecookbooks.com/ for good outdoor, albeit mostly modern BBQ, grilling, and smoking books. (Discounts plus Free shipping and free books on larger orders.)
A version of this article appeared in Artes Draconis: The Campaign Issue in May 2008. That issue was quickly pulled because of production problems and remains out of stock.
It also appears in The Gauntlet April 2009 http://www.midrealm.org/chronicler/publications/gauntlet2009q1.pdf
Copyright 2008 by Johnna H. Holloway. <Johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.