205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Foodborne pathogens like bacteria, parasites, and viruses are invisible to the naked eye and can spread throughout your kitchen. Keep your family safe by keeping your hands clean. Your hands can spread germs that can make you sick. So, wash your hands before, during, and after you prepare food. This can help minimize the spread of germs called cross-contamination (see below for more information on cross-contamination). Handwashing reduces the spread of pathogens from the hands to foods. You should always wash your hands after any activity that contaminated the hands and other important times, see the list below.
Cooking foods to the right temperature will kill bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Using a food thermometer to check internal temperature to keep your food and family safe. Color, texture, appearance, or juiciness of meats and eggs are unreliable ways to determine readiness. To effectively destroy harmful bacteria that can cause food-borne illness, foods must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. Internal temperatures need to be taken so that all parts of the food reach a safe temperature. Some foods may be cooked to higher temperatures for personal preferences, such as well-done steaks. Food thermometers are also important to help make sure cooked foods are kept at safe temperatures until they are served. Cold food should be at or below 40° Fahrenheit and hot foods should be kept at or above 140° Fahrenheit.
Cleaning gets rid of the dirt you can see and sanitizing kills most of the germs you can’t see. Sanitizers are chemicals that destroy germs on cleaned surfaces. Sanitizing is the final step in the cleaning process. You must first wash and rinse a surface or object before you can sanitize it. A sanitizer does not cut through dirt or grease. An effective and approved sanitizer is a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. Scented bleach is not an approved sanitizer because the fragrances are not proven food safe. Chemicals may cause foodborne illness if they get into food. All chemicals, soaps, cleaners, sanitizers, and pesticides must be stored away from food, utensils, and food preparation areas. If chemicals need to be stored in the kitchen area, make sure to store them below food or food-contact surfaces so it does not drip onto food. All chemical containers need to have easy-to-read labels and easy-to-follow directions.
**Remember, all chemicals (including chlorine bleach) are poisonous and need to be stored out of the reach of children and away from food. Take special caution to avoid accidents with chemicals, never put in an unlabeled bottle or leave the bottle where children might accidentally drink from it or spray it on other children. The National Poison Control Center 1(800) 222-1222 is available 24 hours a day**
Cross contamination happens when germs from raw foods get onto other foods. Raw meats are the main source of cross contamination. When blood or juices from raw meats get onto a counter, cutting board, utensils, or hands, bacteria can spread to other foods. This is why washing meats is unnecessary. Washing raw meats, chicken, turkey, or eggs can spread germs to your sink, countertops, and other surfaces in your kitchen. Instead, cook foods thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria.
A healthy diet contains plenty of fruits and vegetable. Knowing how to select the best produce to keep you and your family safe is the first step. Some tips for at the store are pick items that aren’t bruised, or damaged, pre-cut fruits or vegetables should always be refrigerated or on ice, and make sure to separate fruits and vegetables away from raw meat, poultry and seafood in your shopping cart and grocery bags. However, because produce has many possibilities to become contaminated on the way to the store, washing and storing your produce properly will help stop the spread of foodborne illness. As well as, making sure they are stored at 40° F or below.
A food allergy happens when the body has an immune response to certain foods. The body’s immune response can vary from severe and life-threatening like anaphylaxis to hives, rash or digestive problems. Each person can have different symptoms or severity, and this can change over the course of someone’s lifetime. There is no cure for food allergies. The Food and Drug Administration enforces the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) that requires food labels clearly identify the food source names of the top eight major allergens or contain protein from a major food allergen. Those top eight major allergens are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
Preservation of foods to eat later has been around for thousands of years and with salting being one of the oldest recognized. Food preservation is any act or addition that prevents unwanted bacterial growth or chemical change. This could include things such as canning, drying, and freezing foods. Preserving food helps to reduce food waste, waste in landfills, and our environmental footprint.
Before beginning to feed your baby solid foods be sure to talk with your health care provider about which foods are best for your baby and if there are any dietary restriction. When preparing any foods always washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds than completely dry with a paper towel or clean towel. Making your own baby food can be as easy as using a fork to mash up a ripe banana or avocado. Foods can also be steams and put in a food processor, food mill, or a baby food grinder. A benefit of making your own baby food is that you can help cut food cost, know exactly what is going into your baby’s food, and help baby get used to foods that the family eats.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.