The Year In Food A Calendar Of National Food Holidays

In America, we love our foodand we love our holidays. As it turns out, food is the focus of well over 365 national holidays, not including the entire weeks and months devoted to some edibles. Most of the holidays are informal, not official, so you won’t find them on your average wall calendar. Still, the celebration of various cuisines and comestibles is sure to appeal to foodies of every stripe, from the humblest hot dog fan to gourmands aspiring to culinary school. Here’s a quick month-by-month tour of some of our funniestand strangestfood holidays.

January
Giving us a sugar rush to beat the winter blahs, January brings National Cream Puff Day (January 2), National Marzipan Day (January 12), and National Blonde Brownie Day (January 22). However, perhaps our most quintessential of American desserts is celebrated on January 23: National Pie Day, which was created by the American Pie Council.

February
With February’s food days, you could plan a palate-pleasing party, from National Stuffed Mushroom Day (February 4) and National Chocolate Fondue Day (February 5) to National Margarita Day (February 22) and National Tortilla Chip Day (February 24). Don’t forget to include a bowl of mixed nutsNational Almond Day is February 16 and National Pistachio Day is February 26.

March
Love peanut butter, banana cream pie, white chocolate cheesecake, or lemon chiffon cake? Before you decide to give up sweets for Lent, celebrate these sinful treats on March 1, March 2, March 6, and March 29, respectively. If your tastes run more to lollipops or popsicles, you’ll have to wait until March 28 for Something on a Stick Day.

April
April is for cheese lovers, from National Cordon Bleu Day (April 4) to National Cheese Fondue Day (April 11). That homey classic the grilled cheese sandwich is honored on April 12, and even the humble cheeseball has its day on April 17. For the lactose intolerant, there’s Garlic Day (April 19), Lima Bean Respect Day (April 20), and National Raisin Day (April 30).

May
Gourmet foodies will love Maybut the rest of us might have to take a few culinary classes to compete. Start with an appetizer on National Escargot Day (May 24). Then, choose your entre: Roast Leg of Lamb (May 7), Coquilles St. Jacques (May 16), or Coq au Vin (May 29). With decadent delectables like these on the menu, it’s a good thing May 6 is International No Diet Day and May 11 is Eat What You Want Day!

June
Pastries are the order of the day in June, whether it’s jelly-filled doughnuts (June 8), apple strudel (June 17), cherry tarts (June 17), or chocolate clairs (June 22). In fact, the first Friday in June has been National Doughnut Day since 1938, when the Salvation Army designated the holiday to commemorate World War I volunteers who handed out doughnuts to soldiers.

July
Ice cream (July 20) and cotton candy (July 31), barbecue (July 4) and hot dogs (July 20)July is definitely the heart of summer. If you’re hot and thirsty, you can cool off on National Pia Colada Day (July 10), National Daiquiri Day (July 19), National Ice Cream Soda Day (July 20), or National Coffee Milkshake Day (July 26).

August
We’re enjoying the outdoors in August, so why not eat accordingly? National Watermelon Day is August 3, National S’mores Day is August 10, Lemonade Day is August 20, and Eat Outside Day is August 31. For those who can’t get enough hot dogs, National Bratwurst Day is August 16, and the first Saturday in August is National Mustard Day, exuberantly celebrated every year at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, WI.

September
Bring back memories of school days (and school lunches) with holidays like National Cheese Pizza Day (September 5), International Pickle Day (September 14), National Cheeseburger Day (September 18), and National Chocolate Milk Day (September 27). Don’t forget to get in touch with your inner child on September 18, which is National Play-Doh Day not purposefully edible, of course, but you can create a reasonable facsimile of your favorite treat.

October
With Halloween at the end of the month, it’s no surprise that October celebrates a number of sweet candy treats, from National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) and Caramel Apple Day (October 21) to Good and Plenty Day (October 24) and National Candy Corn Day (October 30). For the adventurous, there’s even National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day (October 14).

November
Thanksgiving gives us an annual excuse to indulge, but November offers other indulgent food-related holidays, too. Can you resist giving in to a calorie-busting treat on November 1, National Deep-Fried Clams Day; November 12, National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, or November 16, National Fast Food Day? If so, you deserve a rewardperhaps on November 25, National Parfait Day.

December
Home-baked goodies are the essence of the winter holidays. In December, enjoy National Cookie Day (December 4), National Brownie Day (December 8), National Lemon Cupcake Day (December 15), National Pfeffernsse Day (December 23), National Pumpkin Pie Day December 25), and National Fruitcake Day (December 27).

After eating these delicacies all year long, youll definitely need one of those beloved holidays just to recuperate. Aside from that, who knew there were so many food days out there? Only in America would every day be a different culinary celebration.

How To Choose Natural Dog Food

Have you ever taken time to go through the ingredients in a commercial dog food or have you wondered whether you are providing your pet the right food to meet his nutritional needs? Most pet owners feel that commercial products are highly processed and loaded with preservatives and could be similar to any processed food designed for humans. However, there are some natural dog food manufacturing companies that believe dogs deserve real food made with human grade ingredients. As a pet owner it is your responsibility to provide a healthy diet to ensure good health and growth of your pet. Therefore, before you pick up that dog food from the grocery store, read the high protein dog food reviews to understand and find the healthiest food for your pooch.
Identifying a Good Diet Plan
The nutritional needs differ from breed to breed. Therefore, your first consideration should be the kind of breed you own. Typically a healthy pets diet should comprise fifty percent veggies and fifty percent meat, which means no grains or fillers. This is the thumb rule you need to follow when purchasing high protein dog food. The next step is to consider the growth rate of your pooch and also your pets taste preferences. Whatever recipe you choose, it has to be as natural as possible. It should not contain any artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives. The product should be free from digestive irritants such as soya, wheat gluten, dairy products, etc. Some of the favourable ingredients for any breed are good quality salmon, chicken, lamb combined with brown rice, maize, oats or potato.
Tips for Choosing Natural Dog Food for Puppies
A puppys nutritional needs are quite different from the nutritional needs of an adult dog. Puppies are growing rapidly and need a diet that will boost their growth, while adult dogs need food for merely maintaining their bodies. Therefore, if you own a puppy, then you will definitely need a recipe specifically formulated for puppies. Here are some tips to help you choose the best puppy food. For pups that have not been weaned, you can feed them canned food. As your pup grows mix dry food with the canned food and gradually make it an all dry diet. Always choose the correct formula. Choose foods that are evaluated by the feed control agency. Pick up variety of formula if the manufacturer is offering them in smaller quantities. This will help you identify your pets taste preferences.
10 Things You Must Consider
If you want to raise a healthy and happy dog, your first matter of concern should be to take care of what goes into your pets body. Here are ten important things you must consider before purchasing natural dog food for your pooch; age, breed, your dogs taste preferences, quality of ingredients, supplements, by products, odour, allergies, health problems and your budget. Once you have identified the above things, selecting the best puppy food for small dogs becomes easier. You can purchase food for your dog online as there are some specialty online stores that offer variety of formulations to choose from.

Save Money By Canning Food At Home

In an effort to reduce grocery expenses, many families are choosing to save money by canning food at home. An uncertain economy coupled with an increased cost of living has forced many people to reconsider their spending habits and to come up with a plan to be more frugal with their money. By growing and preparing your own food, you can cut costs without compromising quality, taste, or nutrition.

While canning your own food may seem like a lot of work, it is actually a time saving endeavor since the hours invested today will make meal preparation easier all year round. By canning fruits, vegetables, and even meats, you can stock up your pantry and enjoy a variety of options at a fraction of the cost. Purchasing necessary supplies requires a modest initial cost, but your return on investment will far outweigh your original expense. The benefits of canning your own food are numerous and include the following.

1. A sense of pride and self-reliance. When you can take care of yourself without depending on the market or the economy, you feel a sense of security.

2. Self-sufficiency. Growing and preparing your own food allows you to be your own supermarket. You no longer need to worry about seasonal price increases, availability, or food shortages.

3. Healthy eating. Canning fruits and vegetables within hours of harvest allows you to retain the maximum amount of nutrition possible. Also, when trying to adhere to a budget, many people will purchase lower quality, less nutritious food. By having several healthy options available, you can avoid prepackaged or unhealthy meals.

4. Chemical free food. When you grow your own food, you control both the chemicals sprayed and the preparation processes used. You can enjoy the taste and health benefits without the side effects of harmful pesticides or preservatives.

5. Lower food costs. Purchasing seeds and plants requires an initial cost, but with proper care, the yield can be extremely high. Canning your own food allows you to become a saver rather than a spender, helping you to cut food costs by hundreds of dollars a year.

6. Affordable gifts. Decorate your jars and give them as gifts to friends, teachers, or neighbors. The recipients will really appreciate your thoughtfulness and your gift budget will benefit.

While canning food may look difficult, it is really quite simple. And there are several easy to follow guides that will provide you with step by step instructions, safety tips, and helpful recipes. By using either water bath canning or pressure canning, you can stock your shelves with virtually anything.

For standard meals, you can prepare fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. Or spice up your menu by canning soups, sauces, salsa, chili, jams, and even milk products. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can purchase local, in season produce, or visit farmer’s markets and meat suppliers to buy larger quantities at a reasonable price. And all your work will pay off when you can open a few jars and prepare a quick, yet nutritious and delicious meal, on a busy winter day.

About Author:

D.C. Fontaine is raising a large family in the country and shares instructions for canning food at www.family-security-through-frugal-living.com

Water And Food Storage For Survival

Families should think about food storage for survival as in emergent times they have to rely on whatever food and water is left at home. Look around and you would find a number of reasons to store emergency food. In addition to natural calamities, there is fear from society. Conflicting interests of communities could create civil war like situations and disrupt normal life for indefinite period forcing people to stay indoors for safety of their life and property.

Disruption of normal life brings many hardships for people as there would be no regular supplies available. For instance you have to live without water, gas and electric supply. Also you wont be able to move around for fear of your life. Markets would remain closed for indefinite period and this would further aggravate the problem. In short, the normal life would come to a standstill and you would have no option to stay indoors without food and water.

Emergent situations dont happen on daily basis or every month it is not known when an emergency would arrive. People are advised to stay prepared to survive difficult times. Keep ample stock of necessary medicines at home and also equip your home with potable water supply and food items. Buy food packets that have long shelf life. The meal should be ready-to-eat and it should be suitable for people of all ages.

It is only water and food storage for survival that could open a lifeline for you in difficult times. Never try to cut corners when buying food for use in emergency as it would only jeopardize your life. Emergency food is special product made for long term use. It needs no refrigeration nor does it require heating for consumption. Users could take the food right from the packing. It is delicious meal that has all the necessary nutrients.

Water and food storage for survival is your investment that you should save from going waste. Refresh the supplies before they are spoiled. Take emergency food for instance. This product could be kept for long time but it has a certain life. You should know the life of your food packets and you should make sure that the stocked food is consumed before it reaches its age.

If you are worried about the investment required for water and food storage for survival then you are worrying unnecessarily as preparing for emergency doesnt require heavy investment.

The Importance Of Food Handling In Ensuring Food Safety

When I started my first year of college, I got a job at the university food court. I was hired to be a cashier, and I hardly handled any food at all. So, I was surprised when I learned that I was required to take a class and a test in order to receive a food handler card. The class was held in a downtown government building and was about an hour long, and in those sixty minutes, I learned more than an enough to convince me of the importance of food safety. Even as a cashier, there was a possibility that I might touch food, and I needed to know how to make sure the customers’ food did not become contaminated as a result of my negligence.

Every year, thousands of people get food poisoning from eating contaminated food caused by improper sanitation or preparation. In fact, more than 250 known diseases can be transmitted through food, and all it takes is the wrong temperature, a small cough, or some unwashed hands to start the spreading of these diseases. And beyond the hundreds of known diseases that can be spread through food, the Center for Disease Control also estimates of that the unknown illness and hospitalizations (for which the cause cannot be directly identified), 81% are caused by food poisoning, due in part to improper food handling.
Food poisoning can be caused by infectious agents or by toxic agents. Infectious agents include viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

These infections can appear in your food if the people handling it are sick and don’t wash their hands, if they store the food in unclean areas, or if a contaminated substance (such as money, which is covered in bacteria, or raw meat) comes in contact with your food.

Toxic agents can include poisonous mushrooms, improperly prepared meats, or pesticides on fruits and vegetables. Although these agents are sometimes much harder for food handlers to control, cooks and restaurant owners should be aware of these dangers and take measures to ensure that their food suppliers provide their establishments with quality, clean food.
Needless to say, food poisoning is an unpleasant experience. The symptoms usually include vomiting, nausea, and abdominal cramping, and the illness usually lasts about one to two days.

But as I learned years ago, food handlers can have a large effect on the quality of customer’s food that can help prevent food poisoning. Luckily, most states and local governments require that workers in the food industry acquire a food handler card so that everyone is aware of the danger of spreading disease and infection through food and knows how to prevent such illnesses.

In food handler classes, people will typically learn the basics of food safety, including hand washing. One topic that is particularly enforced is the dangers of cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is perhaps the number one cause of disease and bacteria in food. For instance, raw meat is full of bacteria that are killed when cooked, but if that raw meat is prepared next to fresh vegetables or fruits and some of its bacteria is accidently transferred to the fresh foods, then the food has just become contaminated.

Cross-contamination can also occur when a person uses the same cooking utensil or cutting board for both raw meats and other foods. Another potential danger of cross-contamination occurs in the refrigerator. If raw meats are stored above fresh foods, then the juice from the meat could drip onto the food being stored below and transfer harmful bacteria to that food.
Food handlers are also trained how to properly use cleaning products without transferring harmful chemicals to food, how to keep and take proper temperatures of food so that bacteria are effectively killed, and how to prevent illnesses among the staff from spreading to other people.

Because food safety is so important, customers should be sure that the restaurants they frequently visit require their workers to have food handler cards or permits. If the people cooking and serving your food are aware of the proper procedures in maintaining food safety, you can rest easy that you are more likely to receive clean, uncontaminated food when you go out to eat.

However, although many institutions require their workers to obtain food hander cards, they may not always enforce adherence to the principles they’ve learned. Which is why it’s always a good idea to see when the restaurant’s last health inspection was. If a restaurant has frequent health inspections and maintains high scores, it is very likely that the workers at the restaurant maintain high standards in preparing and serving your food.

And if you’re thinking about working in the food industry, or if you’re a manager and are thinking about requiring your employees to obtain food handlers permits, almost every state hosts short classes and exams that can help train you or your employees in proper food safety procedures. And because these classes are offered almost everywhere, it shouldn’t be difficult to obtain a Texas food handler card, a Minnesota permit, or a card anywhere in between.

And many food handler classes are now being offered online, which makes obtaining certification that much easier. In these cases, usually a person has to study a manual, take a test, and then they are mailed their food handler card. And food handler cards usually lasts for about three years, at which time you’ll have to retake the exam to receive a new one.
Whether you’re a worker in the food industry or a patron of restaurants, food safety is important. By ensuring that food is handled properly, people can help prevent a variety of illnesses and diseases, including food poisoning.

Invest In A Food Franchise Business For Instant Success

When we talk about franchising, the first thing that strikes our mind is a food franchise business. As compared to any other industry, food industry uses the franchising concept more. Look around a market and you will be amazed to find the number of popular food chains available there. There are many popular brands such as McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hit, Dosa Plaza, KFC and Slice of Italy that have taken help of franchising to increase their brand visibility. Well in one way or other, the food industry dominates the franchise industry.

If you are planning to take invest in top franchise business opportunities, food franchise is a good option to consider. Today consumers are health conscious and they always prefer to pay some extra money to have food from some reputable food joint or restaurant. The food sector can present a great opportunity for aspiring investors like you, however, as with any other business venture; it will be a good step to do your groundwork before buying into a food franchise. Think about your strengths and weakness and then look for a good option that matches with your interest and skills.

Here are some useful tips in how you can make your food franchise business successful:

Go for a brand name: There are end numbers of food franchising companies in the market to choose from. If you are new to the food industry, it is always a better idea to invest in a brand that you are familiar with. For instance if you dont like burgers and pizzas never invest in such fast food chains. Instant invest in a food brand that you would love to sell.

Maintain the quality: Remember popular food brands are popular due to the quality food served there. Visit any fast food franchise outlet of McDonalds and you will find the same type of burgers there. This is one reason why this fast food franchise brand is popular all over the world. Hence, to make your food franchise business successful always give stress on the requirements of your target audience and try to offer quality food. Remember the quality of your food items will help you enjoy good flow of customers.

Analyze the market requirements: Before you actually start your own fast food franchise or beverage business it is important to learn as much as possible about the demographic profile of the location where you want to open your food outlet. Having knowledge about the population characteristics in terms of their income, age can help a lot in making the right decision.

High quality customer service: In any fast food franchise or beverage business outlet there will be hundreds of customers to deal with at any given point of time. So, make sure to pay attention to customer requirements and handle them efficiently. Be ready to render any sort of help related to serving of food. Also check whether your staff members are handling the customers properly or not.

Keep these points in mind while starting a food franchise business or beverage business and you will soon get to taste success.

Shut Down & Fined For Breaking Food Safety Laws

How do I comply with the law for food safety?

What is the food legal requirement?

What sort of food safety certificate do I need?

Whether you are starting from scratch or already have a food business, if you are selling and making food, then food safety training is an essential component of your food business.

The consequences of inaction are heavy and in many cases are imposed immediately.

Formal action is taken against all food businesses to be found cutting corners around food safety.

The first step is to obtain a UK Level 2 Food Safety Certificate.

On July 1 2009 Environmental health officers visited The Raja Halal Meat shop in Harrow to discover no food safety training. You will find out what happened to them a little later.

Why had no training been done? Many food businesses cite cost or too expensive, and coupled with the havent got time or cant allow my staff time off, particularly if they are quite busy or have a queue of customers, then risking one night of non-compliance over food safety standards seems much more appealing than splashing out profits on training and taking staff away from their duties.

Lets dispel these 2 common myths; a food safety certificate course taken online costs 25+VAT and pales into insignificance when compared to the fines imposed for not having training. Secondly, being too busy is no excuse given the food safety certificate can be obtained online, which means from any PC with an internet connection. A staff member can complete a food safety assessment in 2-3 hours from home and is very practical given that this training needs to be refreshed every 3 years.

The Environmental Health Officer is looking to see that all staff are (as the law says) appropriately trained.

You no longer need to worry about whether your local authority or council accepts certificate, because in doing food safety training you have met the legal obligation.

Once you receive your Level 2 Food Safety certificate, you are free to display it and most importantly use it as proof that you have met the legal requirement for food handlers.

Job done!

No, not quite. This is not the final step.

Pleading sheer ignorance and saying not knowing the law or being unaware of the food safety legal requirements is another excuse given to Environmental Health Officers. If a food business operates without compliance to food safety standards, they can be shut down on site.

Another look at the findings from the Raja Halal Meat shop environmental health inspection revealed that it was not properly registered with Brent Council.

This is your next step.

All food businesses, whether it be preparing, handling or selling food, must register their premises with the local authority or Council.

Along with no staff food safety training and the products found damaged by rodents at the Raja Halal Meat shop, it was promptly closed down and ordered to pay 1,857 in costs to the council. A larger food business found to be causing risks to public health could be fined much more.

To find out how seriously the courts treat food safety violations have a quick look at the Openshaw Kashmiri Cuisine takeaway in Manchester which on 17 November 2009 was fined 6,100 in fines and costs and closed for 8 days to remove filth and deal with a mice infestation.

The takeaway in Manchester was ultimately demolished with plans in place to construct a Morrisons Supermarket. On 23 November 2009, the Cambella Cafe in the Victoria Shopping centre, Southend, was fined more than 12,000 after mice droppings were found in food that was waiting to be sold.

While members of the public were able to see a lighter side citing cruelty to animals on the premise that the hygiene in these takeaways and cafes was probably poisoning the mice, the fact that many food businesses are not permanently shut down and life-bans given to owners is disconcerting, and as more food businesses are found guilty of cutting corners it will inevitably lead to public pressure on Councils to increase Environmental Health Inspectors, the length of time the food businesses are shut down and the size of fine.