- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Nov. 13, 2012
Holiday food safety tips
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
The holiday season is a time when we're often called on to make and take food to a variety of events. Now's the perfect time to brush up on food safety tips to ensure that your celebrations don't go awry.
The first thing to keep in mind is that some people are at greater risk of serious illness or even death from foodborne illness. Those at higher risk are infants, young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems, such as those who've had a transplant or who have HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes or kidney disease.
Here some tips to keep your feasts safe:
- Wash your hands and cooking utensils (including cutting boards) to ensure you aren't spreading bacteria around.
- Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods (cooked or raw). Use separate cutting boards or platters. Wash raw fruit and veggies before serving.
- Use a food thermometer. Cook turkey and other poultry to an internal temperature of 165 F (145 F for other roasts, steaks of chops). Take the temperature at the innermost part of the bird's thigh and wing — and the thickest part of the breast. Stuffing should also be 165 F. Boil gravies, sauces and soups.
- If serving buffet style, keep hot foods hot (140 F or warmer) by using chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays. Keep cold foods cold (40 F or cooler) by nesting in bowls of ice.
Here are some safety tips if you're going to be transporting food:
- Ensure that hot foods reach a safe final cooking temperature before you transport them. Don't transport partially cooked foods. Hot foods should be removed from the stove/oven just before leaving home. Transfer food to a thermal container or slow cooker, wrap in heavy towels for extra insulation and place in a thermal tote or insulated bag. Before serving, bring food up to the safe temperature (165 F). Bring gravies, soups and other hot sauces to a boil.
- Ensure that cold foods remain cold. Chill the food thoroughly. Consider using bags or blocks of ice to pack around the food and chill the thermal container you will transport it in. When you arrive serve immediately — or refrigerate until serving.
And finally, here's how to safely handle leftovers:
- Refrigerate all leftovers in shallow containers within 2 hours of serving (1 hour if the air temperature is above 90 F).
- Properly stored leftovers can be kept for 3 to 4 days. But if in doubt, throw them out. Be sure to reheat leftovers to 165 F before serving.
- Leave the leftovers with your host. By the time you reach home, the food likely will be the in the danger zone — between 40 F and 140 F — when bacteria can quickly multiple.
Send this to your guests. Here's to your safe and healthy holiday feast.
- Foodborne illness: What consumers need to know. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Foodborne_Illness_What_Consumers_Need_to_Know/index.asp. Accessed Nov. 5, 2012.
- Holiday food safety tips. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/holidays/check_steps.pdf. Accessed Nov. 5, 2012.
- Safe food handling: 7 food safety steps for successful community meals. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/7_Steps_Community_Meals/index.asp. Accessed Nov. 5, 2012.