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Safe food, at home and away

(article, Caroline Cummins)

So Mark Bittman's blog recently ran a guest post comparing the potential food safety of ethnic food vendors and the IKEA cafeteria. Conclusion? Given how often we endanger ourselves at home — sharp knives, stovetop fires, food left in the fridge too long — we're better off eating out anywhere than at home.

Hm. Perhaps only a true New Yorker could have plumped so wholeheartedly for restaurants, especially given the recent calls for national restaurant cleanliness standards. (Want to spend a few minutes grossing yourself out online? Check out the food-inspection webpage of King County, the home county of Seattle, Washington.)

Here's our advice: Learn to use (and sharpen) knives properly. Be aware of flare-ups. If you're not sure about that tub of leftovers in the fridge, throw it out. And for the full home-cooked-meal deal, visit Home Food Safety, a website put together by the American Dietetic Association. How safe is your kitchen? They'll tell you.