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Food Safety Makes the Holiday Season Better for Everyone

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The Manufacturer & Business Association provides certification classes monthly for food safety professionals who work in restaurants, cafeterias, or other types of eating and drinking establishments. We provide a high level of food safety handling information to those workers who have our health in their hands when we eat out. These facilities are licensed under public health laws with enforceable regulations governing their handling procedures. But what about our personal food safety handling knowledge, especially for the upcoming holiday parties? Causing a foodborne illness is not a violation of the law with our friends and family, but it is not a good holiday gift!
Food safety basics need to be consistently applied in your home for larger, special occasion meals, as well as for your daily meals.
The Centers for Disease Control highlights key principles:

  • Separate foods. Prevent cross-contamination after working with each item by thoroughly washing surfaces, utensils and your hands before moving on to other foods. Drying with a single-use towel maintains cleanliness. Use pretty holiday kitchen towels for display only!
  • Cook thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to measure safe final cooking temperatures.
    Find temperature guidelines at foodsafety.gov.
  • Avoid the “danger zone” of 41 degrees to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria can grow rapidly when food is not kept hot or cold. Prepare items in 30-minute intervals, then cook or return them to refrigeration. During service, use hot plates or crock pots or ice the cold food containers. Without temperature control, do not display foods for any longer than two hours.
  • Raw dough or batter. The age-old tradition of letting the kids lick the mixing spoon is a thing of the past! Flour and eggs can contain dangerous bacteria. Enjoy holiday baked goods after they are properly cooked for food safety. By following the control points of time, temperature and cleanliness, you can help ensure safe food is served at your holiday gatherings. Remember: Food safety is not just for professionals; it’s essential for everyone!

MOST CEOS CONFIDENT ABOUT FUTURE OF ECONOMY, THEIR OWN COMPANIES

Nearly 85 percent of CEOs feel confident about long-term growth prospects for the U.S. economy, according to KPMG’s latest CEO Outlook survey.
Most are also confident about their own company’s prospects over the next few years — though, notably less so than they were last year.
Last year, 95 percent of CEOs said they were confident about their own company’s growth prospects.
This year, just 79 percent are. Still high, but a big drop.
“I think it’s because we have more clarity now about the duration of certain structural changes in the economy,” said Paul Knopp, CEO of KPMG.
Even with all those negatives, most CEOs are still optimistic about their own company and the broader economy.
A growing number are also looking to get people back to the office. Last year, just 34 percent said they saw a future with employees back full time. Now, 62 percent do. The rest mostly envision a hybrid setup.

CFO SURVEY FINDS IMPROVED OUTLOOK ON HIRING AND REVENUE IN 2024

Chief financial officers foresee improved revenue and hiring in 2024, according to The CFO Survey for the third quarter of this year released by Duke University’s Fuqua School Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta.
CFOs on average expect full-time employment growth to rise 3.9 percent in 2024, up from 1.1 percent this year, according to the report. They also on average expect revenue to rebound to 6.5-percent growth next year from 3 percent this year.
They were also more upbeat on the economy in general. In the third-quarter report, CFOs assigned a 19-percent chance for negative GDP growth over the next 12 months, down from 24 percent in the second-quarter survey. Growth expectations for GDP were upgraded with CFOs on average foreseeing 1.3-percent growth, up from 1 percent in the previous survey.
However, monetary policy ranked as their top business concern, as higher interest rates have curtailed spending at approximately 40 percent of companies. Labor quality/availability was the next-most important concern.

Lisa DeFilippo is the senior professional development trainer at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or ldefilippo@mbausa.org.