Monday, 29 August 2016

cooking burgers

I teach food safety and fell this advise from the FSA is helpful
Rare burger banner v3

Burgers aren’t like steaks

Unlike steaks, rare burgers prepared at home can cause serious food poisoning. Steaks can be served pink as they’re only ever contaminated by bacteria on the outside. In burgers bacteria from the outside of the raw meat are spread all the way through when it’s minced and are not killed if burgers are not cooked all the way through.

So cook your burgers thoroughly this BBQ weekend and help us spread the word to keep your loved ones safe.
Rare burger banner v3

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


I have just put my hens away after their morning forage and came across this which may be of interest. Must admit I hate runny eggs but for those of you who do not.

Eggs On White Background Stock Photo

Review of advice to consumers (including vulnerable groups) on eating raw or lightly cooked shell eggs and their products in the UK

Last updated: 
25 July 2016
An expert group, set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), to look at egg safety, found there has been a reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK shell eggs since its last report on this issue 15 years ago.
The Group concluded that the risk level for UK hen shell eggs produced under the Lion code, or produced under demonstrably-equivalent comprehensive schemes, should be considered as very low, whilst for other hen shell eggs, including non-UK eggs consumed in the UK, the risk level should be considered low. The report recommends that Lion code eggs (or eggs produced under equivalent schemes) can be served raw or lightly cooked to those in vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, the young and the elderly (but is not intended to include severely immunocompromised individuals).
Following finalisation of the ACMSF report in June 2016, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have reviewed their consumer advice taking into account the independent committee's conclusions and recommendations. It is proposed that the FSA and FSS will continue to advise that all raw, soft-boiled hen eggs or foods containing lightly cooked hen eggs are unlikely to lead to illness in people who are in good health (who are not in a vulnerable group). 
In addition, we will no longer advise against the consumption of raw and lightly cooked eggs by vulnerable groups provided that they are produced under the Lion code quality assurance scheme. This advice does not include severely immunocompromised individuals.
The existing advice on non-hen shell eggs (e.g. duck and quail eggs), which should not be consumed raw or lightly cooked, will not change. 
The ACMSF report also considered it necessary to highlight more clearly potential concerns relating to the non-domestic environment. To this end, the FSA and FSS will soon issue advice for catering establishments on egg handling and hygiene practices.
The ACMSF report provides the expert scientific opinion which has informed the proposed changes to our consumer advice.
We would be grateful for your views on the proposal for our revised consumer advice.
In parallel with this consultation, the FSA and FSS are considering the mechanism for UK egg producers which are not currently part of the Lion code Scheme to demonstrate an equivalent level of food safety control. We are therefore also seeking views on this matter from egg producers and assurance bodies as part of this consultation.
Please send your comments to

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I belong to the British Dietetic Association Group which looks at supporting nutrition and older people so thought this may be of interest.

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.

Why do we need an International Day of Older Persons?   By 2020, half of our UK population will be aged 50 or over.  People have a better quality of living, which means longer lives!
International Day of Older Persons
Well, as the population changes, the country will too.  We need to improve attitudes towards older people and appreciate the roles they play in society more.  They can be forgotten about and sometimes treated like lesser members of society.  That's definitely not how I want to be treated when I'm older, so let's take care of the elderly in the present and carry it on to the future!
So, would you like to help?  You could plan an event around this year's theme.  Arrange fun days, tea dances, fitness activites, or my personal favourite, events that focus on bringing generations together.
I found one story particularly heart-warming.  Sixth formers from a Community Technology College each brought a modern item of technology and spent time showing the elderly people how to use them. To return the favour, the senior citizens brought along gramophones, old typewriters and other interesting items the kids would never have had the chance to use.
For more information visit the International Day of Older Persons website.  Plan your event and then keep checking back on the official website to find about other events happening near you!

Older People's Day

Saturday, 01 October 2016
People are living longer, let's celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and tackle negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.

witter: #OlderPeoplesDay #FullofLife
Get involved with UK Older People’s Day and help celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and tackle negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.
This annual event coincides with the UN International Day of Older Persons.
Events will be taking place across the country
Celebrations and activities will be held on, or around, 1 October also promote healthy life styles, give opportunities to combat loneliness, encourage volunteering and sharing skills with different generations. After all nearly everyone is an Older Person to someone!
Joining in UK Older People’s Day is a great way of building new relationships between people of all ages and will create a real buzz in your local community. Visit the website to register or find an event.
Watch this space or sign up to our social media channels to keep up to date on how Royal Voluntary Service will get involved.

Friday, 29 July 2016


Issue 1- July 2016

Through this newsletter we aim to keep you updated on new research relevant to dried fruit, in particular prunes (dried plums), plus nutrition news, recipes and anything else we as fellow dietitians and nutritionists find interesting, so want to share with you!
Not another newsletter? Don’t worry- we’re keeping it to brief headlines only, so if you have any questions or would like more information, or copies of the references, just get in touch.
Who are CPB? The California Prune Board, under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture represents the entire 900 prune plums growers and 29 prune packers of California, which is the largest producer of prunes in the world and known to be the best quality due to the regions’ rigorous harvesting techniques and quality control assessments. The premium produce is supplied to 72 countries worldwide and the region contributes 43% of the world’s prune supplies and 99% of the United States’ prune supplies.

Dried fruit & dental health- dilemma, controversy or compromise?

Dried fruit such as prunes make excellent convenience fruit snacks- being portable and long life. BUT ask a dentist and advice can be confusing. As good as the new EATWELL Guide is, we have to ask why dried fruit is still limited to one portion of 5-a-day? Because it’s always been that way? On what scientific grounds? A between meal sweet addict might be more inclined to switch to snacking on prunes than fresh apples or pears, as a first step towards a healthier diet. Would this be a problem? What’s your view - we’d love to hear from you.
The California Prune Board have taken this matter seriously and commissioned Dr Michele Sadler to review the research literature. Michele presented her preliminary findings at a HCP seminar in 2015 and her paper has now been published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.¹ Oral health is a complex issue and this literature review shows a lack of consistent data such that more research is needed to ensure evidence-based practice. Prunes can provide some potential benefits including:
  • Chewing to encourage salivary flow
  • Anti-microbial properties due to polyphenol content
  • Cleansing action from fibre
  • Low fermentability as high in sorbitol and low in sucrose
Beware free sugars added to dried fruits - here’s how they are classified²:

Traditional/conventional: no added sugar, e.g. dates, figs, prunes, raisins, apricots, peaches, apples and pearsSweetened: infused with sugar solutions (such as sucrose syrup) or fruit juice concentrates prior to drying e.g. blueberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, and mangoes
Candied fruits: sold as, but technically not dried fruits! e.g. papayas and pineapples

Ground Control To Major Tim, Eat Some California Prunes!

Prunes have been investigated for use in space due to their promising potential as an aid to preserving bone mass. Research on prunes and bone health is an exciting area of current interest and not just for us on Earth! See our press release for more details.
Natural, nutritious and versatile

A brilliantly easy fibre boost to any breakfast - adding 3.5g fibre per portion to our prune porridge recipe below.
CALIFORNIA PRUNE PORRIDGEServes 4 Prep time: 10 minutes
Ingredients200g (20 prunes) California prunes
180g porridge oats
600ml milk
Mixture of toppings: Flax, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, nuts, chai seeds, fresh berries, goji berries, chopped fresh fruit in season
MethodPlace the porridge and milk in a large saucepan and place over a low heat. Add the whole or chopped California prunes and cook for approximately 10 minutes, adding more milk if needed. Alternatively cook in the microwave.
Once cooked, divide the porridge into bowls and top with toppings of choice.
For more California prune recipes visit:

Friday, 22 July 2016

Vitamin D

I wrote about this a while ago in my blog and having seen children with rickets plus adults with deficiencies it is such an easy supplement to take. Now this has really hit the headlines.

Now official advice from Public Health England on vitamin D has been changed to recommend autumn and winter supplementation for all, while at risk groups including the elderly, young children, pregnant and lactating women, individuals with darker skins, anyone who is not regularly exposed to summer sunshine or who habitually wears clothing that covers their skin whilst outdoors, should take vitamin D supplements all year round. The new radical advice will ensure that most Brits stand a chance of meeting their requirements for this important nutrient which may help to reduce negative health impacts throughout life including the osteoporosis time bomb.
It makes sense to improve the amount of vitamin D you take by taking 
  •  multivitamins and fish oil supplements that include vitamin D which are easily found and not particularly expensive
  • and foods that contain vitamin D like oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, pilchards, sardines and fresh tuna
  •  eggs 
  • red meat like beef lamb and pork as well as offal like liver
  •  fortified foods like special yogurts and other foods

The sun is a source as we can make vitamin D by the action of sunlight on the skin --it has only just become hot and sunny for the last few days and today is cloudy. Also too much sun has its own problems of not justsun burn but  a risk of skin cancers.

 Image result for picture sunshine free

Monday, 11 July 2016

eggs and nutrition

I have always been a fan of eggs as they are a useful source of protein.

They are also really convenient to keep in stock.  Although lots of people seemed to be wary of eggs because of worries about food poisoning plus also cholesterol -- I think that has been put to rest and eggs are firmly back on the menu.

One of my favourites is an omlette made with adding cooked onions plus parmesan cheese into the beaten eggy mixture.

Image result for picture of egg

There has been a lot of research about older people and the need for extra protein to prevent sarcopenia (muscle wastage) and there is some about the benefits of eggs in preventing this condition

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Allergies and intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances are relatively common in the UK with one in 5 adults reporting an intolerance and two in 100 having an allergy.
Such allergies are more common in younger children who often have allergies to milk and eggs plus also nuts and peanuts as well as fish.
Help for such allergies can be provided by registered dietitians.
The Allergy and Free From show is at Olympia London 8-10th July and may be helpful to those wanting to find out more information plus obtain ideas on new products