The Buckeye Connection

Food safety is a very important factor in our daily lives. Food poisoning happens more often than most people realize. Those most likely to suffer from the effects are young children and senior citizens who have a lower immune system.

Thawing frozen food is one area of food safety that requires careful planning to ensure that the food is safe to eat.

Freezing does not kill germs; it only stops them from growing. Germs can begin to grow very fast at room temperature, (40F or higher) after a food is thawed.

Never thaw a frozen package on the kitchen counter. Bacteria can multiply rapidly and cooking the food does not always kill the germs.

The safest way to thaw meat is to defrost the meat in the microwave and cook it immediately on the stove or the meat can be thawed in the refrigerator. The following rules should be followed:

Keep refrigerator set at 34 – 40 degrees F.

Do not unwrap frozen meat before defrosting in the refrigerator.

Place meat on a plate so the juices don’t drip on other foods.

Leave space around the food in the refrigerator so cool air can circulate.

Bigger packages of food take longer to thaw than smaller packages.

It takes about 24 hours to thaw 5 pounds of frozen meat in the refrigerator.

The Buckeye Connection

The Ohio State University Extension brings science alive in the classroom with 4-H School Enrichment Programs. Through these programs students learn difficult science concepts through a variety of hands-on activities. The programs are designed to enhance existing classroom science units. Each unit is targeted to meet selected science proficiency goals identified in Ohio’s Academic Content Standards and Indicators.

School Enrichment Programs are provided to all public and private schools in Belmont County with the guidance of Extension personnel. Programs are designed to be used in 3rd through 5th grade classrooms. A $10 cost recovery fee per classroom covers all programs used during a school year.

Available programs include Weather Together, Chick Quest, Rockets Away, Fishy Science, Breads of the Harvest, Beans about Water and Go Plants. Breads of the Harvest reservations are being accepted now for 3rd grade classrooms. The Chick Quest schedule will be announced in January for spring hatch dates. All other programs are available on an as needed basis.

In addition to enhanced learning opportunities, students who take part in a 4-H school enrichment program receive the benefits of 4-H membership. They may attend 4-H camp and participate in county fairs, specialized 4-H programs, contests and events.

For more information about the Science Alive in the Classroom enrichment programs, contact Susan West, Youth Program Assistant, OSU Extension/Belmont at 740-695-1455.