Monthly Safety Tip — November

Holiday Cooking – Food Safety

Holidays are a time for family and friends to gather for good food and joyful celebration. Yet these sweet times can turn sour without safe and proper food-handling.

AES wants you and your loved ones to be well this holiday season, so please follow these four basic food-handling tips — and remember, they're good year-round!

Clean

- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food.

- Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.

- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.

- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking – this will avoid spreading bacteria to areas around the sink and countertops.

Separate

- Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood and their juices away from foods that won’t be cooked.

- Consider using one cutting board for foods that will be cooked and a different one for those that will not (such as raw fruits and vegetables).

- Do not return cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat to the same (unwashed) plate that may still contain raw meat juices or as-yet uncooked meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.

Cook

- To ensure a turkey is properly cooked, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and thickest part of the breast. The turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165F.

-Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.

- When making homemade eggnog, or other recipes with raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.

-Do not eat uncooked cookie dough, which may contain raw eggs.

Chill

- Refrigerate leftovers, takeout foods, or any food requiring refrigeration, within two hours — that includes pumpkin pie!

- Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cool running water, or in the microwave. If using cold water or a microwave to defrost, cook food immediately after.

- Leftovers should be used within three to four days.

 


For more food handling tips, please visit http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm092815.htm


Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home.  Use ESFI's handy Electrical Safety Checkup list to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home before an electrical fire or incident can result.  

Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home.  Use ESFI's handy Electrical Safety Checkup list to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home before an electrical fire or incident can result.  

Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Monthly Safety Tip — April

Credit Cards — What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Credit cards are necessary in today’s world. Used responsibly, credit cards can be helpful in an emergency and for establishing a credit history. Yet all credit cards are not equal. In recognition of “Financial Literacy Month,” here are some tips on using credit wisely.

Just Say “NO”

Credit card company representatives will compete for your business by handing
out T-shirts, coffee mugs, CDs and other enticements. Such incentives may appear attractive, but before you sign anything, read the fine print in the credit contract. Ask yourself if having the credit card is worth the incentive. In many cases, it is not.

Be Aware of “Teaser” Rates

Credit card companies sometimes offer low introductory interest rates to attract new customers. These rates typically last for only a few months and then jump as high as 20 percent, so it’s important that you carefully compare offers from several different issuers before selecting a card.

Stick with One Credit Card

Just because it’s easy to apply for multiple cards doesn’t mean you should. This is especially tempting when department stores offer you discounts on purchases if you apply for a credit card. It’s easier to manage one credit card and pay off only one bill at the end of the month. Besides, even just applying for multiple credit cards can hurt your credit rating. Also, using one credit card to pay off another is a dangerous practice that should be avoided.

Pay in Full Every Month

Get in the habit of paying the balance in full each month, which means don’t charge more than you can pay off at the end of the month.

Pay on Time

Send the credit card payment several days in advance of the due date to allow for mailing time. Late penalties are costly and some companies will increase the interest rate after one or two overdue payments.

Pay Online

Take advantage of online bill-paying or check services that most banks and credit unions have. These services allow you to schedule payments in advance and will automatically pay your bills when due. You can schedule recurring payments to ensure that you never will have to pay late fees.

Protect your Credit history

As soon as you start using a card, the payments — whether paid on time, late or not at all — become part of your credit history. A poor credit history can affect your ability to rent an apartment, get a job or buy a car or house. What’s more, the mark stays on your credit record even if the bill is later paid.

Don’t Exceed the Credit Limit

This helps avoid penalties and ensures that you will have credit available in the event of a true emergency. A $2,000 credit limit doesn’t mean you can afford to carry a $2,000 balance.

Review Statements Carefully

Immediately inform the credit card company of any discrepancies or errors on your monthly statement.

Report a Lost or Stolen Card Immediately

Keep a copy of your credit card account number and the financial institution’s name and customer service telephone number in a convenient place in case your card is lost or stolen.

Avoid Cash Advances

Be aware that the interest rate on cash advances can be much higher than the rates charged on purchases.

Protect Personal information

Never provide your credit card number unless you make a telephone, mail order or online purchase. If you receive a call from someone who says he or she represents your credit card company and needs your credit card number or security code to verify your account, hang up. Likewise, if you receive an e-mail requesting you click on a link so as to verify your account, do not click on the link and delete the e-mail. No legitimate credit card issuer will directly request such information by phone or e-mail. Also, never let anyone else use your credit card and don’t charge purchases for other people.

Learning how to use credit wisely will help you avoid serious credit problems.

For more information, please visit http://www.calcpa.org/~/media/public%20resources/files/dollars%20and%20sense/dsmain.pdf?la=en.

Used with permission by and appreciation to: A joint project of CalCPA Institute and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, www.calpca.org/FLC