Make sure meat is properly cooked

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After a long day or night of cheering, singing and enjoying delicious food at a tailgate party, the typical fan just wants to get home, relax and unwind. This can be the perfect ending to a great day; unfortunately, this is also the time when those nasty little symptoms from improper care of food occur.

These folks are experiencing symptoms of food poisoning from their tailgate parties. The most common cause of symptoms like cramps, diarrhea, and nausea is Salmonella bacteria. There can also be much more severe problems from E.Coli bacteria, which can be killed by cooking meat to a temperature of 160 degrees. To do that, you need a food thermometer. Salmonella, although generally less severe in symptoms, has many more places where it is found. It can be in red meats like E.Coli but is also found in poultry, eggs, unprocessed milk and even water. Here are some simple rules to avoid food poisoning:

  • Buy only USDA inspected meats with current freshness dates.
  • Wash hands, utensils, and cutting boards that touch or will touch food. Have a jug of water and anti-bacterial soap handy at the tailgate with plenty of paper towels.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Perishable foods should be kept below 40 degrees. Don’t let them sit out too long. Pack-up leftovers quickly.

Tailgater’s favorite dessert for game day is the bar because one can pick them up with their hand and eat them. No fork or plate is required.

Low Fat Apricot bars (each bar has only 1 gram of fat, no saturated fat, and 63 calories)

Ingredients for bars:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 swerving of egg beaters
  • ½ cup apricot nectar (or OJ)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ½ cup finely snipped dried apricots

Ingredients for icing:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 to 3 teaspoons of apricot nectar (or OJ) stirred together

Preparation:

In a medium mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl stir together egg, apricot nectar, applesauce, and oil until combined. Add these wet ingredients to the dry and stir only until mixed. Now add the apricots and mix. Spread this mixture in an ungreased 11x7x1 ½ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until a dry toothpick, inserted in the middle of the dish will come out clean. Cool the dish on a wire rack. Drizzle on the icing and cut into 24 bars.

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