- 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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April 6, 2011
Does your kitchen need a spring cleaning?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
As you start your spring cleaning, ask yourself whether your kitchen needs extra attention. Would it hold up to a health and safety inspection like the ones restaurants undergo?
A food safety quiz developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health can help you answer that question. (The link to the quiz appears in the reference list.) More than 10,000 home cooks completed the quiz between 2006 and 2008, and the results were surprising. Nearly 40 percent got a grade of C or lower.
Here's a taste of the questions:
- When cooking food to serve later, do you rapidly cool and place it in the refrigerator?
- Do you have a working refrigerator thermometer?
- Do you store raw meat below other food in the refrigerator (so it can't drip on other food)?
- Before preparing food, do you remove all jewelry from your hands? Do you keep your fingernails trimmed?
- Are your kitchen shelves and cabinets clean and free of dust?
If you said no to any of these questions, you're not alone. Anywhere from one-fourth to one-half of home cooks fail to follow these basic food safety practices. Other important but commonly missed safety precautions include:
- Sanitizing cutting boards in the dishwasher, with hot soapy water or with a solution of bleach and water
- Thoroughly washing fruit and vegetables
- Having soap and paper towels readily available for hand washing
- Washing and sanitizing sponges and kitchen rags daily
- Making sure the kitchen floor, ceiling and walls are clean
I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat in a restaurant that can't pass inspection. Why should it be different for my kitchen? I'm going to focus my spring cleaning on cleaning up my kitchen. I'm going to give my refrigerator, stove and oven a thorough cleaning — and I'll wipe down the cupboards too. How about you?
- Jenniferblog index
- Does your kitchen make the grade? Home Kitchen Self-Inspection Site. http://www.lapublichealth.org/phcommon/public/eh/fsquiz/index.cfm. Accessed April 4, 2011.
- Use of a self-assessment questionnaire for food safety education in the home kitchen, Los Angeles County, California, 2006-2008. MMWR. 2010;59(34);1098.