- 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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June 26, 2013
Summer food safety tips
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
As the temperature rises, so does our excitement over picnics and grilling. Unfortunately, cases of foodborne illness rise too.
Most people know to keep potato salad cold. But there's more to food safety. Consider the following food for thought as you plan your summer outings.
Check the forecast. You know to refrigerate perishable food within two hours. But did you know that drops to one hour when the temperature is above 90 F (32 C)? Serve, eat and get food back in the cooler.
Come clean. If your picnic spot doesn't have clean running water, bring some with you. Bring wipes or sanitizing gel for surfaces and hands. Wash hands before food prep and after handling raw meats.
Keep your cool. Use an insulated cooler with ice, ice packs or partially frozen items to keep food at 40 F (4 C) or cooler.
Pack smart. Keep separate coolers for food and beverages. Chances are people will be in and out of the beverage cooler, which lets cold air escape. To keep food as cold as possible, keep that cooler closed until you're ready to cook. Pack meat in plastic and put it on the bottom of the cooler to prevent it from leaking on other foods. Pack two platters — one for raw meat and one for cooked meat.
Use a thermometer. Don't rely on the color of meat to judge when it's cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Safe minimum temperatures are:
- 165 F (74 C) for any type of poultry
- 160 F (71 C) for ground meat other than poultry
- 145 F (63 C) for solid cuts, such as steaks, of meat or fish
Keep safety in mind as you pack your picnic cooler or fire up the grill.
To your health,
- Barbeque and food safety. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/barbecue-and-food-safety/ct_index. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Safe minimum cooking temperatures. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html. Accessed June 21, 2013.