I’m getting ready to begin some holiday baking and I want to make sure I keep it safe! Yes, that means I’m going to try not to burn the cookies to a crisp like I did a cheesecake crust at Thanksgiving. And yes, it means I’ll try to keep my paper towels away from the burner flame when I’m melting chocolate. Okay, I’ll try not to drop a knife by my toe either; but even more importantly, I’m going to check for food recalls before I begin.
If you’ve watched the news at all this year, you have probably seen numerous food recalls. I remember seeing one involving natural peanut butter. Since peanut butter cookies are on my baking list, I want to make sure that the natural peanut butter in my pantry is not the one I saw on the news. The fastest way I know to find out is to visit the FDA website http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/.
A quick review of the site this morning assured me that my peanut butter is not on the list. It also reminded me that the most common sort of recall seems to be a failure to include some ingredient or other on a label. Sometimes this sounds serious. Other times it’s a bit comical, like when a company has to recall edamame because they failed to note it contains soy. It IS soy for cryin’ out loud, but maybe it’s good to make sure we know that.
One of the most common reasons for recall in the current FDA list is failing to note that a product contains nuts of some sort – walnuts, peanuts, etc. If you are severely allergic to nuts, it is probably wise to avoid all processed food all the time since the failure to label their inclusion appears to happen with an uncomfortable frequency.
In addition to periodically checking the FDA site, I am a vigilant washer of fruits and vegetables. I know it may seem silly to wash an orange if I’m just going to throw away the peel, but I do it anyway. My mom once had a fungus growing in her lungs that was attributed to orange peel. Whether that was the real culprit or not, it was enough to convince me that taking the time to wash the produce was not too inconvenient. An, of course I’ll make sure my cutting boards and countertops are clean before I start slicing fruit and rolling dough.
Now that I’ve done my homework to keep it safe, it’s time to get in the kitchen and do some baking! I can’t wait to smell warm cookies in the oven.
Have fun preparing your holiday treats & keep it safe in the kitchen!
A list of recent recalls is also available here:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”