June 1, 2010

Advice from RepairClinic – Summer Food Safety

Posted in appliance parts, Cleaning, Food, Health, Home, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:52 am by Liliana

Summer picnic

Summer picnic in Serbia

Every summer, people get sick with food poisoning.

By following a few simple food and hygiene safety rules, you can avoid any discomfort and enjoy the hot months of summer.

  • Keep cooked and raw food separate during preparation in order to prevent contamination of foods that will be eaten raw.
  • It is best to buy cold foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, etc.) right before checking out at your grocery store. Always separate raw meats  and poultry from other foods in your cart (to prevent leakage and cross-contamination.)
  • Cold foods should be placed into the coolest part of your car. If you live further than 30 minutes away, bring an ice cooler for storage.
  • Once home, place cold foods in the refrigerator right away. Meat and poultry that won’t be used in one or two days should be frozen.
  • Use your refrigerator for slow, safe defrosting of meat and poultry.
  • Cooked food should reach safe internal temperature. Whole poultry -180 degrees F; chicken breasts – 170 degrees F;  hamburgers – 160 degrees F;  Beef, veal and lamb steaks – 145 degrees F. All pork – 160 degrees F.
  • Meat thermometer should be cleaned carefully between temperature checks to prevent contamination.
  • During the summer months, food should not sit out at room temperature for more than one hour.
  • When preparing any food, but especially meats, keep all surfaces clean. Frequently wash your hands, cutting boards, counters and utensils. Make sure that the wash cloths and towels that you are using to dry your hands are clean.
  • Never reuse (or serve as relish) marinades that have come in contact with raw meats, chicken or fish.
  • Never place cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat.
  • When preparing meals or recipes that use mayonnaise, refrigerate them as soon as you can, and keep cold until serving.
  • While at the picnic or beach, keep coolers in the shade. Keep lids tightly closed and avoid frequent openings.
  • Use one cooler for drinks and another for food.  This way, the cooler containing perishable foods won’t be opened and closed constantly. Replenish the ice as it melts.
  • If you have spent a long day in the heat, it is best to throw away leftovers. Don’t take chances.

Your best policy is to use common sense. If you are in doubt, be extra careful!

May 7, 2010

Spring Cleaning – Bedroom

Posted in Cleaning, Home tagged , , , , , at 6:53 am by Liliana

Open Your Windows

Open Your Windows

Spring is the customary time to clean and refresh your house from the closeness of winter. Dust your walls, wash your fabrics and open your windows wide to let in the fresh breezes.  I am planning to start with my bedroom this coming weekend.

Supplies I’ll need:

  • Bucket with warm, soapy water (I usually use all-purpose green soap); replace water and soap frequently
  • Furniture polish
  • Window polish
  • Lots of soft, clean cloths and several soft brushes
  • Leave the windows open the entire time that you are cleaning and for the rest of the day

Tasks I hope to complete:

  • Take down window curtains and wash in washing machine. I have lace curtains, so I don’t dry them in the dryer but hang them back on the windows to dry.
  • While curtains are in the washer, I wash down the window shades, and areas and corners around the windows.
  • Take window screens down and wash well with soft brushes.
  • Wash and polish windows.
  • Wash ceiling and walls.
  • Wash ceiling fan, blades, and light fixtures.
  • Strip and wash bed linens, comforter, mattress covers, and pillows. I try to do this on a nice, sunny day (I hope Saturday will be one) and place everything outside to air and dry.
  • Vacuum mattress and flip over; air mattress by open window for the rest of the day.
  • Vacuum and wash area under the bed.
  • Dust with damp cloth all lamps, books, picture frames, art, vases, etc.
  • Dust and polish chests of drawers, dressers, and nightstands.
  • Clean and polish mirrors.
  • Vacuum and wash wood floors.

I usually leave cleaning and organizing closets for another time. At the end of the day, I bring in the linens from the outside and make my bed. The room will smell like the wind and sunlight. In order to keep it fresh, I will open the windows and air it out every day.