July 1, 2015


At MANNA, food safety is a TOP priority because many of our clients have compromised immune systems.  The hot summer months are a great time to update your own food safety knowledge. With many outdoor events and barbecues, we often overlook proper handling food. 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from food poisoning, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year. You can prevent food-borne illness by being more cautious and it’s easy! Help keep your family and friends safe and healthy with these simple food safety practices below.

  1. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands before eating, preparing food, or between foods that would cross contaminate such as red meat and fresh vegetables. Always wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Marinate your food in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from growing.   Always reserve a portion of unused marinade to brush on food while it is cooking. Never re-use marinade that was used to flavor raw meat, poultry or fish.
  3. Preheat your grill approximately 20-30 minutes before grilling. For charcoal grills, the coals should be just coated with ash.
  4. Use a food thermometer to ensure that food is cooked to the proper temperatures.
  5. Food should never sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays to keep hot food hot. Keep cold foods cold by nesting them in bowls of ice or rotating items into the refrigerator/freezer.

Keep these tips in mind always and grill on!

Recipe: Grilled Eggplant with Caramelized Onion and Fennel
To prepare this appetizer indoors, broil the eggplant rounds until browned, and continue the recipe as instructed. White balsamic vinegar offers the sweetness of regular balsamic but won’t discolor the salad. You can use regular balsamic vinegar if white isn’t available.



1/4 teaspoon salt, divided $
1 (1 1/4-pound) eggplant (about 4-inch diameter), peeled Cooking spray $
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided $
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 3/4 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 1 large bulb)
2 cups finely chopped yellow onion $
2 cups trimmed arugula $
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil $
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes $
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese $
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme


Prepare grill to medium heat.

Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Lightly coat both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 7 minutes on each side or until browned. Set eggplant slices aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fennel and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, arugula, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl; toss gently to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 8 appetizer plates; top each serving with 1 eggplant slice. Arrange about 1/3 cup fennel mixture on each eggplant slice; top with 2 tablespoons tomatoes and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle the chopped basil and thyme evenly over cheese.

Recipe via Cooking Light.