Spring holiday food safety tips


By Robin Young  | PREVIEW Columnist

With the Easter Bunny making his annual appearance this weekend, he wants to make sure everyone practices safe food handling with the following traditional holiday foods:

• Eggs should not sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep hard-cooked eggs in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

• All cooked egg dishes should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F, as measured by a food thermometer.

• If you plan to eat the Easter eggs you decorate, then be sure to use only food-grade dye. One suggestion is to make two sets of eggs, one for decorating and hiding that will not be consumed, and another set for eating. Consider using plastic eggs for your Easter egg hunt.

• During Passover, various kosher meats are consumed. Kosher meat and poultry are produced under rabbinical supervision. Verify the safety of meats by looking for the USDA mark of inspection to ensure the product was produced in an establishment inspected by the USDA.

• Be sure to allow plenty of time to thaw a frozen brisket. Thawing in the refrigerator can take about 24 hours for a trimmed, first-cut brisket. A whole brisket weighing about 10 pounds can take several days.

• Bake the brisket, fat side up in a baking dish, in an oven set no lower than 325 F. The brisket is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F and is allowed to rest at that temperature for three minutes.

• Ham is a popular meat for the Easter table. Did you know that there are several types of ham, and they require different preparation methods? Ham is either ready-to-eat or requires cooking before eating. Be sure to read the package instructions carefully.

Fresh, uncooked hams must be cooked to reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 F.

Ready-to-eat hams are cooked at the plant and can be safely eaten right out of the package and can be served cold or heated to serve warm.

Upcoming events

April 8 and 15 — The Archuleta County Master Gardeners will be at Terry’s Ace for the 4 Ws of gardening in Pagosa Springs.

April 22 — Earth Day Events. Look for details in The SUN.

April 24 — An evening discussion on the diverse perspectives of wolves in Colorado. Details to be determined. 

April 28 — An evening discussion on climate and weather at 6 p.m. at the Extension office.

April 29 — Viticulture Workshop Details to be determined. 

May 6 — Weed Warrior Program presentations from 9 a.m. to noon at the Extension building. The Weed Warrior Program will cover an introduction to noxious weeds, their control and how to be a steward in your community. Please RSVP with Ethan Proud at eproud@archuletacounty.org.

May 10 and 11 — Certified seed potato sale.

May 19 — Archuleta County Fair Board Dance from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Extension Exhibit Hall.

Local Noxious Weed
Advisory Board

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is seeking to fill open positions on the Local Noxious Weed Advisory Board.

According to the Colorado Noxious Weed Act title 35 article 5.5, the local advisory board is appointed by the BoCC. Members will help update the Integrated Pest Management Plan at least every three years and voice suggestions to county staff for ultimate approval by the BoCC. 

If you are interested in a position, please see http://archuletacounty.org/582/Local-Weed-Advisory-Board for eligibility and responsibilities. If you believe someone would be suited for the role, please nominate them for a position on the board using the form at http://www.archuletacounty.org/582/Local-Weed-Advisory-Board.

Applications and nominations will be accepted from March 6 to April 15.

Certified seed potato sale

Certified seed potato will be on sale for $2 per pound on May 10 and 11. This year we will not be taking orders; it is a first-come, first-served service. Please bring your own bag or box to take your seed home. 

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered monthly by the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 246-5931 to register.