SafeFood© Convenience

Our society has embraced convenience. Macaroni and cheese is a great example – once upon a time, moms made this from scratch with natural cheeses; fast forward through the boxed product with the orange powdered cheese sauce to today’s micro-waved product.

Is our country bi polar? There is a plethora of cooking shows, channels, books, magazines and web sites; but also increased convenience products available in the market place. Preparing menu items from “scratch” rather than “assembling” does take time. It provides greater control over food handling practices – and nutrition, for that matter (read the sodium levels on any packaged product!). Yet at times, it is handy to use packaged items. My cupboard is not bare of these and frankly, the product is often better than what I could create (spaghetti sauce is one example). These are personal decisions, but like any decision, consider the pros and cons. Many controls for safe food still rest in your hands.



Catherine Hemphill Strohbehn has been a faculty member at Iowa State University in the Hospitality Management Program for 30 years. She is a State Specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University. As part of her work, she conducts research, develops educational materials and provides programs to help retail foodservices use their resources effectively and ensure safe food is served. Cathy is a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Certified Professional in Food Safety from the National Environmental Health Association.

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