Tracy Turner

Technical Editor
Focus Areas: 
Chow Line, consumer news, food safety, nutrition.
  1. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Improperly cooked hamburgers on the grill could make your Memorial Day memorable

    We plan to grill this weekend for Memorial Day but my husband and I can’t seem to agree on how to cook the hamburgers. I like them medium rare like a steak, but my husband says the burgers should be cooked until they are well done. Which one of us is right? Unlike steaks, hamburgers, and any ground beef meals, should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to help lessen your chance of developing a foodborne illness, said Sanja Ilic, the state food safety specialist for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).  Even though beef steak and ground beef are both beef, steak can be safe to eat at a minimum internal...
  2. Photo: Getty Images

    Media Advisory: Ohio State expert available to speak about relationship between cancer and diet

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—An expert in nutrition and how foods play a role in disease prevention from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) is available to discuss with the media about the relationship between cancer and diet in light of the recently released study on the issue. A study published May 22 in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum found that an estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were associated with eating a poor diet. The study evaluated seven dietary factors: a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products; and a high intake of processed meats, red meats, and sugary beverages such as soda. The study also found that low whole-grain consumption...
  3. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: Learning to dine with diabetes

    My dad was recently diagnosed with diabetes and was advised to change his diet. Do you know of any local resource to help us understand which diet changes he’ll need to make?   One of the best resources your dad can turn to is his doctor, who might be able to connect him with a dietitian who can possibly help him tailor an eating plan specific to his dietary needs. Additionally, your dad and the rest of your family can learn more about diabetes and how to manage nutritional needs through a free online course created by Ohio State University Extension family and consumer sciences educators. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.  The course, Dining with Diabetes:Beyond the...
  4. Photo: Getty Images

    News tips and events for the week of May 13

    Tip 1: Wet weather delays Ohio planting: Persistent rain and saturated soil conditions have delayed corn and soybean planting in much of Ohio thus far this planting season. For the week ended May 5, only 2% of Ohio’s projected corn acreage was planted. In comparison, 20% was planted at that same time last year, and 27% is the five-year average for that time. Soybean planting is also down, with only 1% of Ohio’s projected soybean acreage planted. In comparison, 7% was planted at that same time last year, and 9% is the five-year average for that same time. Many farmers statewide question whether they can still produce crops with strong yields after such late planting, so agronomists at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (...
  5. Food safety experts say never wash or rinse raw chicken. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Never a good idea to wash raw poultry

    I saw a discussion on social media this week that said not to wash raw chicken before cooking it. But I always rinse mine with a mixture of lime or lemon juice and vinegar, which my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother did as well. Why should I stop doing that now? The fact is that you shouldn’t wash or rinse raw chicken or any other raw poultry before cooking it. Period. This is because rinsing or washing raw chicken doesn’t kill any bacterial pathogens such as campylobacter, salmonella, or other bacteria that might be on the inside and outside of raw chicken. But when you wash or rinse raw chicken, you are likely splashing chicken juices that can spread those pathogens in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops, according to the...
  6. Keith DiDonato Photo: Ken Chamberlain

    CFAES names new chief advancement officer

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Keith DiDonato has been appointed as the new chief advancement officer of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Starting on May 20, DiDonato will lead and develop the CFAES Office of Advancement, which includes fundraising, alumni relations, and marketing communications. Currently the associate vice president for development at The College of Wooster, DiDonato oversees the major and planned giving programs, annual giving, and the parents and family giving program. In that role, he is directly involved with the largest fundraising year in the history of the institution, adding $40 million to the school’s campaign.   DiDonato also worked as the director of leadership giving at Oberlin...
  7. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: More foodborne illness outbreaks detected last year

    It seems like there have been more foodborne illnesses in recent years. Is that true? Sort of. More outbreaks have been detected in recent years, although the overall number of foodborne illnesses is thought to have remained largely the same.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was an uptick in the number of detected foodborne illness outbreaks last year. In fact, in a new report released last week, the CDC said that 120 Americans died as a result of foodborne illnesses last year and 25,606 Americans reported foodborne illnesses. Of those, 5,893 people required hospitalizations. The CDC said it investigated 23 multistate foodborne illness outbreaks last year, several of which included reported cases of foodborne illnesses in Ohio...
  8. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Drinking more water can mean less calories for some kids

    I’m trying to incorporate more water into my kids’ daily meals. What are some ways to encourage them to drink more water? According to a new study released this week in JAMA Pediatrics, drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks is associated with lower caloric intake in kids, teens, and young adults. The study, which was released Monday, was based on data collected from 8,400 youths ages 2–19 nationwide. The data was reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveysfrom 2011–2012 and from 2015–2016. The youths reported whether they drank water daily, and they reported the number of sugar-sweetened beverages they routinely drank. The study found that about one in five of those youths said they didn’t drink...
  9. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Hard-boiled eggs safer choice than soft-boiled eggs for Easter

    I prefer the texture of soft-boiled eggs versus hard-boiled eggs. Is it OK to use soft-boiled eggs for dyeing Easter eggs? Well, that really depends on whether you plan to eat the Easter eggs or just use them for decoration. Eggs are an important source of protein and are delicious to eat. However, they must be handled safely to prevent the chance of contracting a foodborne illness. While it’s understandable that some people prefer the taste of soft-boiled eggs versus hard-boiled eggs, from a food safety standpoint, it is safer to use hard-boiled eggs for dyeing Easter eggs that you plan to eat. In fact, you should cook the eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm, not runny. This is because eggs can contain salmonella, which is an organism that causes foodborne...
  10. Photo: Thinkstock

    News tips and events for the week of April 19

    Tip 1: Getting ready for the growing season: Farmers and producers in Ohio can expect to see a wet April followed by a warmer and not as wet May that includes the possibility of normal or even a bit below normal rainfall. Early indications for the summer growing season include normal or slightly above normal temperatures and possibly a bit wetter weather than normal; however, June could be a bit drier. That’s according to Jim Noel, with the National Weather Service. Noel’s weather updates are featured in the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network’s C.O.R.N Newsletter, which is offered by agronomists and educators with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Tip 2: Lake Erie Watersnake...
  11. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Springtime in Ohio is a good time for strawberries, asparagus, other in-season produce

    Which fruits and vegetables are in season in the spring? Rain and bright sunny days make spring a good time to indulge in a wide range of plentiful produce such as asparagus, cabbage, kale, spinach, and strawberries. Not only are these items extremely fresh and flavorful because they’re currently in season, but they’re also widely discounted because of the abundance of supply based on this time of year. Because fruits and vegetables grow in cycles and ripen during certain seasons, produce typically is fresher and tastes best when ripe. And while most fruits and vegetables are available to consumers year-round thanks to agricultural innovations, seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically cheaper to buy because they are easier to produce than fruits and vegetables that...
  12. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: When to throw out moldy food

    When is it ok to consume food that mold has grown on, and when should one throw the food away? That depends, in part, on the type of food. First, it’s important to understand what mold is.  Mold and yeast are generally considered spoilage organisms, as they cause undesirable changes to the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of the product, explains Abigail Snyder, an assistant professor and food safety field specialist for The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). However, some instances of mold growth on food introduces food safety concerns, Snyder wrote in Mold Has Grown on Your Food: What Should You Do, a recent Ohioline fact sheet. Ohioline is Ohio State University Extension’s free online...
  13. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: New tool offers chefs guidance on food safety

    As a food blogger, I’ve written my own recipes before, but I’m wondering how I can incorporate the most updated food safety information into those recipes. Do you have any advice for me? A new online tool that was launched this month will allow people who develop and write recipes to incorporate step-by-step food safety information into those recipes.  The Safe Recipe Style Guide was developed by food safety experts and food journalists as part of an effort to help educate consumers on safe food-handling practices. The free online tool, which is offered by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, a Virginia-based nonprofit food safety organization, provides recipe writers information about how to incorporate food tips into most recipes. The...
  14. Photo: Getty Images

    News tips and events for the week of March 25

    Tip 1: “Zombie” deer meat? A recent Chow Line column answers a question on chronic wasting disease, which has also been called “zombie deer disease.” This disease rots the brains of deer, elk, and moose, causing them to act lethargic and less afraid of humans before dying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As such, the CDC advises people to take certain precautions when dealing with deer or elk and the meat from those animals in areas where chronic wasting disease is confirmed within the wild herd. While Ohio’s current status designation is “chronic wasting disease-free in the wild,” there have been some reported cases in three surrounding states: Michigan, West Virginia, and...
  15. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Considering a gluten-free diet?

    I am thinking about removing gluten from my diet. Is there anything that I need to consider before making that decision? Yes. An important thing to consider before going gluten free is the question of why you want to make that change. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. It also appears in many processed foods. There is often a medical reason—such as wheat allergy, celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity—why a person must follow a gluten-free diet, said Shannon Carter, educator, family and consumer sciences, Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. However, some people have adopted a gluten-free diet because they...
  16. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: CDC: Avoid “zombie” deer meat

    I keep hearing about “zombie deer.” What is that? What you are talking about is chronic wasting disease, a disease that has been featured in numerous national media outlets and news stories in recent weeks. Chronic wasting disease, which has also been called “zombie deer disease,” rots the brains of deer, elk, and moose, causing them to act lethargic and less afraid of humans before dying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Ohio’s current status designation is “chronic wasting disease-free in the wild,” there have been some reported cases in three surrounding states: Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the CDC said. The disease has been detected in 24 states thus far, the CDC said. “Chronic...
  17. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow line: Modeling healthy eating is beneficial to children

    My little boy is at the age where he has decided he does not like to eat vegetables. As a parent, how can I instill better eating habits in my child? While it’s normal for young children to be picky eaters, there are ways that you can help them develop healthier eating habits. One easy way is through modeling healthy eating habits yourself. One of the most common ways that children learn new things is by watching and imitating parents’ actions. In fact, research has shown that parents’ eating choices can have a major influence on their children, said Ingrid Adams, state specialist in food, health, and human behavior for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio...
  18. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Understanding symptoms of food poisoning

    How do I know if I have food poisoning? The symptoms of food poisoning vary depending on the type of germ to which you’ve been exposed, but there are some common signs that can indicate whether you’ve been exposed to a foodborne illness. The most common signs include stomach cramps, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Some bacteria, such as Listeria can cause flu-like symptoms. It’s important to note that symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild to serious and that some of them can come on as quickly as 30 minutes after you eat or as long as four weeks after you’ve eaten something that contains a foodborne pathogen, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The time it takes for symptoms of a foodborne illness to...
  19. Raw turkey. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Some raw turkey products linked to ongoing salmonella outbreak

    I just heard that some raw turkey products have been linked to a salmonella outbreak. How can I protect myself from developing a salmonella infection from raw turkey? Whenever you are handling raw turkey, it’s always important to handle it carefully and to cook it thoroughly to prevent developing a foodborne illness. This is because raw poultry can be can be contaminated with bacterial pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter, and clostridium perfringens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So, if you eat undercooked poultry or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw poultry or its juices, you could get a foodborne illness. The turkey outbreak that you are likely referring to is the ongoing salmonella outbreak that began just before...
  20. Several raised beds in an industrial parking lot as part of the Urban Renewal Farm in Dayton, Ohio. OSU Extension provided funding for the soil and the materials to create the raised beds. Photo: Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension.

    Urban agriculture in Ohio

    Ohio State University Extension is working in partnership with urban growers statewide to increase the production of local foods and to create economic opportunities for urban communities in Ohio. In the heart of the oldest neighborhood in Columbus sits a 2.5-acre farm that resulted in $50,000 worth of produce in 2017. The farm is spread across 12 sites throughout the city’s urban landscape. Franklinton Farms—named after the neighborhood in which it sits—is a network of urban farming plots where traditional farming techniques and high and low tunnels are used to produce enough vegetables, fruits, and herbs to supply a 40-member community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. In 2019, the CSA plans to expand to 75 members, said Nick Stanich, executive director of...
  21. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Dietary supplements to gain increased federal scrutiny

    I’ve been thinking about adding a dietary supplement as part of my daily routine. But I’m not sure how or if dietary supplements are regulated. Unlike over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements are regulated more like food products than like drugs. Supplements, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, will now be subject to “new enforcement strategies,” including a new rapid-response tool that can alert consumers to unsafe products, the FDA said in a written statement this week. The move is “one of the most significant modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. “FDA’s priorities for dietary supplements are to ensure that they...
  22. A comparison of the old and new food nutrition labels. Photo: U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

    Chow Line: Understanding the new food nutrition labels

    What are some of the changes I can expect to see on the new food nutrition labels? One of the biggest changes is a larger, bolder typeface for both calories and serving sizes. The typeface will be easier for people to see and read. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the updated food nutrition label design. According to the FDA, the new design was part of an effort to reflect updated scientific findings to help consumers make better-informed decisions about food choices and maintaining healthy diets. While the new labels are already on about 10 percent of food packages currently being sold, the FDA is requiring food manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales to have the labels on all of their products by next year. Manufacturers with less...
  23. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Protecting yourself from hepatitis A

    I just heard about a recent health warning advising people who had visited a central Ohio restaurant last month to get a hepatitis A vaccine. What is hepatitis A, and why would people who were at the restaurant need a vaccine? Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus that infects a person’s liver. It can be spread through close contact with a person who has hepatitis A or by eating food prepared by a person with hepatitis A. The recent warning concerns consumers who patronized Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 479 N. High St. in Columbus, Ohio, from Jan. 1–16 of this year. Columbus Public Health issued the warning after a person who had direct contact with food at the restaurant was diagnosed with hepatitis A. According to Columbus Public Health, consumers who ate at the...
  24. Photo: Getty Images

    Chow Line: Prep and freeze food for later use in oven, slow cooker

    When I get home from work some nights, I am exhausted and simply don’t feel like cooking. Any tips on what I can do to still eat healthy those nights without having to go out to eat or spend a lot of time making a meal? On a nonworkday, you could make several meals in advance and then store them in your freezer to defrost at a later date. On a day when you don’t have the time or energy to make a full meal, you’ll have access to quick, easy, nutritious, homemade meal options. Freezing meals in advance can be helpful anytime you need a ready-to-go meal or when you take a meal to someone in need, said Shannon Carter, an Ohio State University Extension educator with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “Freezer...
  25. Photo: Thinkstock

    News tips and events for the week of Jan. 22

    Tip 1: e-Fields Report: On the farm, data can be crucial in helping make the right decisions. The recently released e-Fields 2018 Report offers data about tests done on 95 farms in 25 Ohio counties. The topics researched in the report include nutrient management, seeding, crop management, soil compaction management, remote sensing, and data analysis and management. Each study includes information about weather, soil types, and management practice. Elizabeth Hawkins, an Ohio State University agronomist based in Clinton County, can address media questions about the report. She can be reached at hawkins.301@osu.edu or 937-382-0901. January 2019 events 24 Grafting Workshop, 8 a.m. to noon, Jack and Deb Miller Pavilion, Secrest Arboretum, OARDC, CFAES Wooster Campus, 1680 Madison...

Pages