News From Our Blog

Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online

Cyber crimes come in a variety of forms, including identity theft, fraud, and viruses. Reduce your chances of becoming a victim by taking these important steps online:

  • Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with others.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  •  Be cautious about offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 Get additional information about protecting yourself online and reporting incidents from the Department of Homeland Security.

How to Prepare Holiday Meals Safely

For many families, preparing a grand meal is a tradition they look forward to during the holidays, but it’s no fun if someone gets food poisoning.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people in the United States get sick each year from eating contaminated foods.

You can avoid foodborne illness by following these tips:

1. When buying food:

  • Choose fresh items and check the expiration date for everything you buy.
  • Foods that need to be refrigerated, such as meat, eggs and milk, should be the last things you buy at the store.
  • Place meats (chicken, fish, pork and beef) in a separate bag. The liquids that spill out of these items can contaminate fruits, vegetables and other food in the refrigerator.
  • If you’ll be driving for more than an hour after you go to the supermarket, take a cooler to store the items that need refrigeration.

2. When handling food:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling any food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables with a brush to remove any dirt or soil residue.
  • Do not wash meats before cooking. This could cause bacteria to contaminate your sink and other kitchen surfaces.
  • Defrost meats in the refrigerator or microwave. Defrosting them at room temperature can cause bacteria to multiply.
  • Wash the knife and cutting board that were used to prepare meat before using them on other food items to avoid contamination.

3. When cooking food:

  • Cook meats after defrosting them. Don’t leave them out of the refrigerator for too long.
  • Make sure the meats are cooked well inside and out. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • Don’t put freshly cooked items next to raw foods.
  • When cooking meat, do so all at once. Avoid partially cooking meat and refrigerating it with the intention of completing the cooking process later.

4. When storing food:

Read this note in Spanish.

Small parts in toys and games pose a choking hazard to children. Find out how small parts are measured and get tips for selecting safe toys for your children.

If you’re planning a trip abroad over the holidays check the State Department’s list of travel warnings.