By April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaFootball season means tailgate party time. But poor food safety can leave fans sick in the stands regardless of who wins the game. “Grocery stores and restaurants are now making it easy to tailgate with a variety of foods that make your menu planning a breeze,” said Elizabeth Andress, a food safety specialist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. But even if someone else prepares the food, she said, plan a good defense and follow a few rules to keep it safe. “If eating hot take-out food, either eat it within two hours of purchase or keep it hot, above 140 degrees Fahrenheit,” Andress said. “Otherwise, plan ahead and use your home refrigerator to chill it down, and then keep it in a cooler below 40 F.”Always keep cold foods like potato salad, coleslaw, bean salads, pasta salads, cheese spreads and chip dips refrigerated. “Keep them refrigerated or in an iced cooler,” Andress said, “as soon as they’re purchased.”Serve them sitting in ice in a large dish or pan and keep them covered as much as possible. If you can’t do that, put them back in the cooler within two hours. “Perishable cooked food such as luncheon meat must be kept cold, too,” she said.When the weather turns colder, you may want foods like soup, chili and hot stew. Look for containers that can keep hot foods hot for many hours.”Fill the container with boiling water, let it stand for a few minutes, empty it and then put in piping-hot food,” Andress said. “Keep the insulated container closed to keep the food hot (140 F or above) for several hours.”Unless you know the food was kept clean and cold during the game, don’t eat it. You could get sidelined with foodborne illness after the game.If you plan to keep food for after the game or to take home, you might need an extra cooler filled with fresh ice for leftovers. Look for coolers that can keep ice for days, even in hot weather.”Remember, you don’t know the history of how your take-out food was prepared or held until you picked it up,” Andress said. “Be extra careful with the food safety rules once it’s in your care.”Bacteria multiply fast between 40 F and 140 F, or what is called the “danger zone,” she said.”Never leave food in the danger zone more than two hours,” she said, “or one hour when the outside temperature is above 90 F.”Year-round food safety tips: * Keep it clean. Only use clean serving plates and utensils. If you plan to party after the game, too, bring enough plates and utensils to use new ones. * Find out if there is a source of drinking water at the site. If not, bring water for cleaning. Pack clean, wet, disposable cloths or towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.* Separate. Keep foods well packaged to avoid cross-contamination. If you take ready-to-eat salads or vegetables from the store, keep them separate from any raw meat or poultry you plan to cook at the tailgate.* Eat well-cooked meats, and keep hot foods hot. Chicken pieces or wings, barbecue or hamburgers need to be cooked thoroughly, or don’t eat them. Don’t eat pink meat and poultry that looks undercooked, even if you’ve paid money for it.(April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
ZAP Fitness elite runners will compete for top marathon title this weekend The California International Marathon will host the US Marathon Championships this weekend in Sacramento, California. The event is the national championships for marathon running in the United States. Winners take home the title of the American National Marathon Champion and a purse of $20,000. The diverse field of runners includes seasoned veterans and marathon newcomers. ZAP Fitness, a training center for Olympic hopefuls in Blowing Rock, NC will send 5 athletes to compete in the race. Joanna Thompson is coming off a 10thplace finish at the Boston Marathon in April. Andrew Colley, Matt McClintock, Joe Stilin and Josh Izewski are each making their marathon debuts and have sub-64-minute half-marathon personal bests. The oil and gas industry renews push for offshore drilling despite a ban by Florida voters Florida voters recently approved an amendment to the state Constitution banning offshore drilling along the coast. In response, the Florida Petroleum Council released a report detailing a projected $2.5 billion in revenue that could be made possible from personal and corporate income tax, property tax and sales tax as a result of offshore drilling. Opponents of offshore drilling point to industrial disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that dumped 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and produced massive losses in Florida’s tourism and seafood sectors. Opponents also point out that oil represents a very small portion of Florida’s economic activity. Rare Mandarin duck inexplicably makes home in Central Park A rare and colorful Mandarin duck native to East Asia has recently been spotted at the Central Park Pond in New York City. It’s presence baffles birders because the Mandarin duck does not live in the US outside of zoos. Theories on the bird’s arrival in Central Park include a daring escape from a local zoo, though no zoos have reported a missing Mandarin duck, or an escape or dump by a private owner. Observers note that the duck has a black bank around its leg, indicating that it was once privately owned. No matter its origin story, the New York Postreports that the duck is integrating well with its surrounding wildlife, including mallard ducks—a staple on the Central Park duck scene.
Alex Matuschka von Greiffenclau, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of telecommunications company Digicel, died suddenly on Thursday while on holiday with his family in his native Germany.A report from the online edition of the Irish Times stated, “No words can adequately express our sadness at Alex’s passing or our gratitude for having worked with him,” Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien said, who stepped in as interim CEO following Matuschka von Greiffenclau’s death. “Digicel has lost a committed hard-working and exceptional Chief Executive,” he added.The 47-year-old joined Digicel last February, succeeding former Digicel Chief Executive Colm Delves, after working with another Dutch company, Veon and serving as a senior executive with Nokia out of Finland.No further details were provided regarding how the CEO met his demise; however, he leaves to mourn his wife and three teenage children.“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know him on a personal level have lost a dear friend,” O’Brien is quoted by the Irish Times as saying.“Over the coming days, we will share our thoughts for a suitable commemoration of Alex and his enormous contribution to the transformation of Digicel.”Von Greiffenclau is said to have been a key figure to the Digicel group and played an important role in negotiations with bondholders on a debt refinancing, which concluded last week.“It involved the majority of holders of US$3 billion (€2.6 billion) of bonds in the heavily-indebted company agreeing to swap their notes, which were due in 2020 and 2022, for long-dated securities… On joining Digicel, Mr von Greiffenclau inherited a group restructuring plan, known invariably as either Digicel 2030 or ‘Project Swan’, which included a plan, outlined in February 2016, to cut more than 25 per cent of the group’s staff – or more than 1500 roles – over 18 months” the Irish report revealed.Von Greiffenclau also spearheaded an initiative expected to reduce Digicel’s debt to 5.7 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) from a ratio of 6.7 times at the end of the group’s last financial year in March.The blueprint is predicated on boosting earnings by 10 per cent to about US$1.1 billion (€960,000) for the current financial year, and generating about US$500 million (€480 million) from asset sales.