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Acrylamides: The Hidden Danger in Your Favorite Potato Dishes

January 12, 2021 - 11:31am --

By: Devon Mendez

Potatoes, in all varieties, are one of the most beloved comfort foods in the United States, with the average American consuming nearly 117 pounds of potatoes per year, largely in the form of frozen French fries and tater-tots. While there is little argument that these fried delicacies are a favorite of many, these delicious dishes can pose a risk to more than your waistline. This risk occurs when potatoes are cooked using high temperature cooking methods (above 248 degrees F) such as frying, roasting, or baking. When high carbohydrate foods such as potatoes are cooked at these temperatures, their natural sugars and the amino acid asparagine, undergo a chemical change that producing the compound acrylamide. While this compound is a result of a natural processes, acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is recognized as a potential carcinogenic in humans by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, the FDA recommends that


Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

December 14, 2020 - 3:12pm --

By: Vanora Davila

It is that time of year! The holiday season is here and if your family is anything like mine, you are probably already thinking about all the delicious meals you will be making to celebrate and share with your loved ones!

The end-of-the-year holidays can be some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments one can experience, but inappropriate food-handling behaviors can turn the most exciting of times into despair.

Holiday Table photo by Christopher Paul High on

Understanding Produce Regulations

December 7, 2020 - 4:16pm --

By: Allison Howell

Federal regulations are complicated, technical, and often difficult for consumers to understand. But everyone eats produce. A basic understanding of what types of produce or produce commodities are included or not included in federal regulations and what those regulations mean can help consumers make informed decisions about buying, preparing, and consuming produce safely.

Background on FSMA


This Little Piggy Came From Omaha, NE

November 25, 2020 - 11:48am --

By: Aaron Beczkiewicz

Given that food is such an integral part of daily life, it is not surprising that concepts related to food are often represented in childhood rhymes like “This little piggy went to the market…” While I am pretty confident none of us really understood what “went to the market” meant the first time we were introduced to that rhyme, our understanding evolved as we grew and developed. But how much does our understanding of where foods come from and how they are produced actually matter?

box containing meat

Is There Something Fishy About Homemade Sushi?

November 16, 2020 - 6:19pm --

By: Drew Barkley

Last year, I was chatting with a friend about different foods we liked to prepare at home. Having grown up in the south, I mentioned that some staples of my cooking were various casseroles, fried chicken, and homemade biscuits. My friend, having been raised in an Asian-American household, was used to preparing different stir-fries, dumplings, and ramen. While all of that sounded delicious and got me thinking about dinner prematurely, the next food she mentioned caught me off guard. She told me that she and her sister love making homemade sushi together.

I was initially taken aback. The idea that anyone was making sushi at home on their own seemed risky to me. Yet, here was someone I knew that was preparing sushi regularly in their own home. I immediately became curious asking for all the details of how she and her sister made their own sushi. She said that they went to the store and bought whatever fish looked good to them that day. To make the rolls, they would lay a bed of sticky white rice over seaweed and top with the fish, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese, and whatever else sounded good to them that day. Then they would roll it up, slice it up into individual rolls and enjoy. Sensing that I was nervous about her homemade sushi, she reassured me that neither she nor her sister had ever gotten sick and they always use what she referred to as “fresh” fish. While I wanted to mention that “fresh” fish is not the same thing as “safe” fish, I let the conversation end there as I went to go do some research on my own.

First, I want to make the disclaimer that I have never made homemade sushi. While I do enjoy eating sushi, I will leave its preparation to skilled, trained professionals working in fully inspected restaurants. However, I wanted to highlight specific actions you can take to insure your sushi is safe if you are making it at home (or even if you are eating it at a restaurant).  

Sushi - photo by Louis Hansel on

CFI Welcomes New TARTARE Project Manager

November 4, 2020 - 9:26am --

We would like to welcome our new TARTARE Project Manager Nasandra Wright M.P.H., R.S. Nasandra is a dedicated and experienced environmental health professional who is committed to developing and improving the delivery of food safety initiatives at the state, county, and local levels.  After spending nearly two decades working in the private sector and in public health, including stints as a Public Health Commissioner, Environmental Health Director, Project Manager, and Food Safety Specialist, Wright forged alliances and built support among various stakeholders in order to m

Nasandra Wright

FSIS Public Meeting on “Roadmap to Reduce Salmonella”

October 6, 2020 - 11:12am --

By Dr. Kara Morgan

The FSIS "Roadmap to Reduce Salmonella" was published on Friday September 18, and a public meeting was held on Tuesday September 22.  In her opening comments, Dr. Mindy Brashears, Undersecretary for Food Safety, explained that the meeting was being held because the Healthy People Goals for Salmonella have not been met for three decades (2000, 2010, and 2020). In spite of many efforts from federal food safety agencies and private sector actors, the rate of illness from Salmonella attributed to food has been stubbornly stuck at around 15 cases per 100,000 over that time period.

CDC estimates Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for most of these illnesses. Thirty-eight  percent of foodborne illnesses from Salmonella are attributed

FSIS Salmonella Road Map

Announcing the TARTARE Newsletter

September 21, 2020 - 4:53pm --

We are proud to announce that the first TARTARE Newsletter will be published this month! The newsletter will be sent out on a bi-monthly basis to provide the TARTARE team and stakeholders with a combination of updates about project activities, team member spotlights, current news surrounding relevant food safety topics from around the world, and upcoming events of interest. This month's issue will feature an interview from TARTARE doctoral fellow Achenef Melaku about his experience on campus at The Ohio State University receiving training in Dr.

sharing a meal - photo from iStock

Chow Line: Tick that causes meat allergies found in Ohio

September 15, 2020 - 10:42am --

By: Tracy Turner

Is there a tick that causes people to develop an allergy to red meat, and can it be found it Ohio?

Yes, to both of your questions.

The tick you are referring to is called the lone star tick, which, in certain cases, in some people, can cause an allergy to red meat after being bitten by the tick. 

Lone Star Tick - photo by Getty Images


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