Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New PPiFS: Buckshot Bar & Grill

Newest Restaurant to meet Exceptional Food Safety Practices in Pueblo

October 30, 2018, Pueblo, CO – The Food Safety Program at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment is proud to announce the continued growth of the Pueblo Partners in Food Safety program and the newest Partner is Buckshot Bar & Grill.

“We are excited to welcome Buckshot Bar & Grill as the newest Partner to this elite program,” stated Sylvia Proud, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Proud added, “The Health Department congratulates all restaurants that are Pueblo Partners in Food Safety due to their hard work and dedication to health standards. All restaurants are encouraged to apply; assistance is available with resources for program enrollment, self-assessments, and safe food handler training.”

Health Inspectors (left two) with Buckshot Bar & Grill Restaurant Owners.
The Health Department’s Pueblo Partners in Food Safety recognizes local restaurants with exceptional food safety practices, protocols, and health reports. The program launched in April 2015 with six facilities and has since grown to 84.

“The Pueblo Partners in Food Safety not only recognizes and promotes restaurants and food facilities but is also a tool to develop Active Managerial Control, a system to ensure steps for safe food handling are being followed,” explained Vicki Carlton, food safety program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Active Managerial Control empowers food handlers to reduce risks and ensure operations remain safe.”

Participating facilities conduct a self-assessment of practices and apply to join the program. The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment reviews and approves applications, allowing Partners to receive an official window decal for their place of business, a certificate of approval, and public recognition on The Dish of Pueblo website.

Look for the Partners window decal at your favorite restaurant in Pueblo or view the full list online. For more information about the program, food safety news, and view health inspections in Pueblo, visit thedishpueblo.com and like The Dish of Pueblo on Facebook and health department social media.

Current List of Pueblo’s Partner in Food Safety

* Auntie Bev’s Restaurant

* The Buckshot Bar & Grill

* Cactus Flower

* Chick-Fil-A

* Chili’s Grill and Bar

* Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

* Doss Aviation Initial Flight Training

* Estela’s Millstop Café

* Eurest at Vestas Towers

* GG’s BBQ & Catering

* Gold Dust Saloon

* Noodles & Company

* Olive Garden

* Orange Julius

* Pueblo City Schools (all 33 schools)

* Pueblo County School District 70 (all 20 schools)

* Pueblo Joe’s at Pueblo Community College

* Pueblo SRDA (all 11 feeding sites)

* Red Lobster

* Rocco’s Riverside Deli

* Romero’s Catering

* Schlep’s Sandwiches

* St. Mary Corwin Hospital (Cafeteria)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tailgate Food Safety Tips

Tailgate Food Safety Tips 
 
Fall is finally here, and the smell of fresh cut grass on the gridiron is in the air. This is the best time of year for Colorado sports fans, because you can watch the Broncos, Rockies, and even preseason Avalanche Hockey all in one day.
 
As fans prepare to tailgate, there are a few food safety tips we should all keep in mind. Before you set up your parking lot party:

  • Safety Rule #1 - pour a refreshing libation like an Ol’ Fashioned or Moscow Mule in a copper challis. This will help you enjoy the chore of setup and prevent any stress. Oh, and don’t forget to pack non-alcoholic beverages and water for hydration.
Before we get ahead of ourselves we need to start with a “Game Day Menu Plan”. When it comes to planning the food, everything starts with the menu. When planning the menu, there are a few things to keep in mind. 
 
  • Pick easy items that have minimal preparation.
  • Utilize seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
  • Keep raw food separate from ready-to-eat food.
  •  Select food that works for eating outdoors.

After planning your menu, start making your Game Day Checklist. The last thing you want to do is run out and buy something after you get your grill and everything set up. There are some items you can pack that will help keep your food safe. For instance, food surface approved cleaning spray with paper towels, food service gloves, food thermometer, ice bath for cold food, food warmer, tongs and spatulas - one dedicated for raw and one for cooked foods. The illustration below is a good reminder of what to bring. 
 
 
 
Thunder Wolves Menu
Grilled Sausage Links - Kielbasa + Chorizo w/ grilled bell peppers and onions
Pueblo Chile + sour cream dip w/ chips + carrots
Dog bone cookies


 
Broncos Menu
Burgers W/ Pueblo Green Chile Strips
Chuck Wagon Chili Dogs
Mile High Nachos
  

 


 


Monday, August 6, 2018

Back to School Food Safety Tips



Back to school, back to the books, back in the saddle, or back in the car for parents. The new school year means it’s back to packing lunches and after-school snacks for students, scouts, athletes, dancers, and all the other children who carry these items to and from home. One ‘back’ you do not want to reacquaint children with, however, is bacteria.
Bacteria that cause foodborne illness, commonly known as food poisoning, grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In just two hours, these microorganisms can multiply to dangerous levels, which can cause foodborne illness. To make sure lunches and snacks are safe for those you pack for, follow the four steps to food safety:
1.    Clean
2.    Separate
3.    Cook
4.    Chill.
Before you start preparing lunch:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm or hot water for at least 20 seconds before AND after handling food.
  • Avoid handling cellphones and other electronic devices, mail, keys, and bags during food prep. Keep these items off food preparation and eating surfaces.
  • Always use clean spoons, forks, plates, and cutting boards. Remember to use separate cutting boards – one for fruits and vegetables and the other for meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Remember the 2-Hour rule: you must keep hot foods HOT and cold foods COLD. Meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs (also known as perishables) only last two hours at room temperature of 90° F or below before they are unsafe to eat. If the room temperature exceeds 90° F, the perishables will only last one hour before they must march back into the refrigerator or freezer.

While preparing lunch:

Wash fruits and vegetables with running tap water. Pack only the amount of perishable food that can be eaten at lunchtime. That way, there won’t be a problem scrambling to store leftovers safely.
It’s fine to prepare food the night before, but pack lunch bags before leaving home. Freezing sandwiches helps them stay cold. It’s advised not to freeze sandwiches containing mayonnaise, lettuce, or tomatoes. Add these items later.

Packing Tips

If the lunch/snack contains perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese, or yogurt, make sure to pack it with at least two cold sources such as frozen gel packs or frozen bottles of water. Frozen juice boxes can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze these items. By lunchtime, the liquids should be thawed and ready to drink. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly so perishable food transported without an ice source won't stay safe long. 

DIY Freezer Packs

Pictured above is an easy backup to your ice packs, especially if packing a lot of lunchboxes or filling a big cooler. The idea is simple: Wet individual sponges, squeeze out excess water, drop them in a sealed baggie, and freeze. These packs are less bulky than traditional ones, making them perfect for even the littlest of lunch boxes. 
  •  Pack lunches containing perishable food in an insulated lunchbox or soft-sided lunch bag. Perishable food can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime if packed in a paper bag. 
  •  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 put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food hot at 140° F or above. 
  • If packing a child’s lunch the night before, parents should leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The meal will stay cold longer because everything will be refrigerator temperature when it is placed in the lunchbox.
  • If you’re responsible for packing snacks for the team, troop, or group, keep perishable foods in a cooler with ice or cold packs until snack time. Pack snacks in individual bags or containers, rather than having children share food from one serving dish.
Storage Tips
 If possible, a child’s lunch should be stored in a refrigerator or cooler with ice upon arrival. Leave the lid of the lunchbox or bag open in the fridge so that cold air can better circulate and keep the food cold.
 
Eating and Disposal Tips
  • Pack disposable wipes for washing hands before and after eating.
  • After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging as it could contaminate other food and cause foodborne illness.
Follow these tips and you’ll keep bacteria out of your lunchbox! Make sure to share with your loved ones and friends!  



BACK TO SCHOOL KIDS LUNCH IDEAS:



OPTION #1
Turkey + Cheddar Roll-up
Fresh Berries
Yogurt
Trail Mix 
OPTION #2
Hummus
Pita Bread
Grape Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Sliced Oranges
OPTION #3
Cheese Quesadilla
Guacamole
Salsa
Tortilla Chips
Strawberries 
OPTION #4
Deli Meat + Cheese Kabobs
Red Pepper Slices
Apples
Fruit Leather or Snacks
OPTION #5
Hard Boiled Eggs
Baby Carrots + Ranch
Pretzels
Peaches or Applesauce
OPTION #6
Pasta Salad
Yogurt
Granola Bar
Raspberries
OPTION #7
Almond Butter + Jelly (or PB +J)
String Cheese
Fruit Cup
Chips
OPTION #8
Crackers
Cheddar Cheese Cubes
Grapes
Popcorn
OPTION #9
Bagel + Cream Cheese
Yogurt Tube
Baby Carrots
Fruit Snacks
OPTION #10
Veggie Wraps with Hummus
Edamame or Snap Peas
Clementine
Granola Bar

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

How to Avoid Uninvited Guests at Your Summer Outing

In the summertime, as the weather begins to heat up, our microscopic friends, called bacteria, begin to make uninvited appearances at our cookouts, picnics and even camping trips. Sometimes these little friends can be helpful, but other times, they just make you sick.

Bacteria will grow anywhere they have access to nutrients and water. Microorganisms that cause disease are called pathogens. When certain pathogens enter the food supply, they can cause foodborne illness.

Under the right temperatures, between 40 and 134°F, bacteria reproduce rapidly. In some cases, they can double their numbers within 20 minutes. The warm temperature, along with the moisture needed for bacteria to flourish, makes the summer weather the perfect atmosphere for bacteria.

That perfect weather, combined with an increase in outdoor activities, and food being prepared in outdoor areas that may lack the safety controls of a home kitchen, could be a recipe for disaster – leading family and friends to get sick.

So play it safe and follow the following food safety recommendations:

  • Never leave food out of refrigeration for more than two hours at room temperature. If the temperature is above 90°F, food should not be left out more than one hour.
  • Keep hot food hot - at or above 135°F. Place cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays or slow cookers.
  • Keep cold food cold - at or below 40°F. Refrigerate or place food in containers on ice.
  • If you’ve prepared large amounts of food, divide it into shallow containers. For example, a big pot of baked beans will take a long time to cool, inviting bacteria to multiply, and increasing the risk of foodborne illness. Instead, divide the food into smaller containers and place in the refrigerator or freezer promptly so it will cool quickly.

If you have a question contact us at 719-583-4307. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Newest Restaurant to meet Exceptional Food Safety Practices in Pueblo


Newest Restaurant to meet Exceptional Food Safety Practices in Pueblo

Pueblo, CO – The Food Safety Program at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment is proud to announce the continued growth of its Pueblo Partners in Food Safety program. The Pueblo Partners in Food Safety recognizes local restaurants with exceptional food safety practices, protocols, and health reports. The program launched in April 2015 with six facilities and has since grown to a total of 84. The newest Partner is Romero’s Catering.
“We are happy to welcome Romero’s Catering as the newest Partner to this elite program,” stated Sylvia Proud, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Proud added, “The Health Department congratulates all restaurants that are Partners due to their hard work and dedication to health standards.  All restaurants are encouraged to apply; assistance is available with resources for program enrollment, self-assessments and safe food handler training.” 

“The Pueblo Partners in Food Safety not only recognizes and promotes restaurants and food facilities but is also a tool to develop Active Managerial Control, a system to ensure steps for safe food handling are being followed,” explained Vicki Carlton, food safety program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Active Managerial Control empowers food handlers to take control of risks and ensure operations remain safe.” Participating facilities conduct a self-assessment of practices and apply to join the program. The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment reviews and approves applications, allowing Partners to receive an official decal for their place of business, a certificate of approval and public recognition on The Dish of Pueblo website.

Look for the Partners window decal at your favorite restaurant in Pueblo and a full list is located on the Partner's List tab above. 

Current List of Pueblo’s Partner in Food Safety
    Auntie Bev’s Restaurant
    Cactus Flower
    Chick-Fil-A
    Chili’s Grill and Bar
    Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
    Doss Aviation Initial Flight Training
    Estela’s Millstop Café
    Eurest at Vestas Towers
    GG’s BBQ & Catering
    Gold Dust Saloon
·               Noodles & Company
    Olive Garden
    Orange Julius
    Pueblo City Schools
      (all 33 schools)
    Pueblo County School District 70 (all 20 schools)
    Pueblo Joe’s at Pueblo Community College
    Pueblo SRDA
     (all 11 feeding sites)
    Red Lobster
    Rocco’s Riverside Deli
    Romero’s Catering 
·              Schlep’s Sandwiches
    St. Mary Corwin Hospital (Cafeteria)
    Tuscan Bean

Friday, March 30, 2018

Eggs for Easter: Great Food But Handle Safely

Eggs have been used as food for about 6 million years. The ancient cultures of Sumer, Egypt and Greece were all familiar with eggs and egg dishes. In ancient Rome meals often began with an egg course. In fact, the Romans crushed the left-over shells to keep evil spirits from hiding in them. But eggs can contain another kind of evil spirit if they aren’t handled properly: Salmonella, an organism that causes food poisoning, also called foodborne illness. Salmonella, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and fever, can be found on both the outside and inside of eggs that look perfectly normal. In otherwise healthy people, the symptoms generally last a couple of days and taper off within a week. But some people such as pregnant women, young children, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems are at risk of severe illness from Salmonella. In these at-risk individuals, a Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
That’s why it’s important to handle fresh eggs properly and these tips explain how to do so.
Refrigerate Eggs Promptly: Keeping eggs adequately refrigerated prevents any Salmonella in the eggs from growing to higher numbers which makes them more likely to cause illness.
  • Buy eggs only from stores that keep them refrigerated.
  • At home, keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) until they are needed. Use a refrigerator thermometer to be sure.
  • Refrigerate unused eggs or leftovers that contain eggs promptly.
Keep Clean: The outside as well as the inside of eggs can be contaminated.
  • Wash hands and all food contact surface areas (e.g., counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards) with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
Cook Eggs Thoroughly: Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of Salmonella infections.
  • Eggs should be thoroughly cooked until both the yolk and white are firm.  Recipes containing eggs mixed with other foods should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160ºF (71ºC).
  • Eat eggs promptly after cooking. Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature (between 40 to 140ºF) for more than 2 hours.
  • For recipes that call for raw or lightly cooked eggs, consider using pasteurized shell eggs or pasteurized egg products.
Separate: Never let raw eggs come into contact with any food that will be eaten raw.
Eating Out: Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or lightly cooked, unpasteurized eggs. When in a restaurant, ask if they use pasteurized eggs before ordering anything that might result in consumption of raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing.