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Senior Center volunteers study food safety
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McMinnville – Warren County Senior Center’s Second Harvest volunteers recently completed a food safety class with Warren County environmentalist Joel Worsham. 
During the workshop, they learned about foodborne illness risk factors, which included improper hot/cold holding and cooling of potentially hazardous food, improper cooking temperatures, contaminated utensils and equipment, poor health and hygiene and food from unsafe sources.
Some potentially hazardous foods that promote the growth of harmful bacteria include meat, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs, cooked vegetables, rice, beans, pasta and potatoes.
Cold foods must stay cold at 41 degrees or below, and hot foods must stay at 135 degrees or above to be safe.
Some contaminated utensils and equipment tips include the washing of hands after handling raw meat, washing, rinsing and sanitizing all food contact surfaces that touch raw meat.
Raw meat should be prepared in an area away from other foods, and a separate cutting board should be used for raw meat.
Where raw meat is stored was also discussed, with meats to be stored below other foods in the refrigerator. Meat with the highest cooking temperature, such as chicken, should be stored below meat with a lower cooking temperature, like fish.
Everyone completing the class acquired information they did not know, and feel safer in the kitchen.
“Mr. Worsham had a great class, with some very helpful information and facts for our class members,” said senior center director Cheryl Mingle.