November 21, 2012
Chefs know that the right tools make cooking easier and safer. From the traditional turkey to the sweet potatoes to the cranberry relish and pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving dinner requires much planning and preparation. To create this delicious feast, heated or cooled to the correct temperatures, with palate-pleasing textures and presentation, chefs rely on thermometers, balances or scales, and waterproof pH pocket meters.
For a safe non-contact reading in under a second, the Oakton® TempTestr IR Food Thermometer measures food temperature from 40 to 140°F or 4 to 60ºC. Quick checks with a non-contact thermometer can remove the hazard of cross-contamination. Another option is the Folding Food Service Thermometer with adjustable angled probe. Use this folding thermometer for any food handling application—three LEDs provide instant, error-free indication of critical food temperature zones.
For properly proportioned servings, the Ohaus FD Portion Control Scale offers a fast, stable weight display within two seconds. To measure the acidity or alkalinity of cranberry relish, wine or juices, try the Extech® Waterproof pH100 Pocket pH Tester or the Horiba® B-213 Twin Compact pH Pocket Tester.
Read for Six Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips from the National Restaurant Association.
Other related articles on food safety:
Tech Challenge: Temperature Monitoring of Food Products
Advancing Food Safety: What’s Happening Now and What’s to Come
October 18, 2012
National Ergonomics Month is an opportunity to check our work activities to assess our risk of injury and musculoskeletal disorders. According to OSHA, properly fitting workplace conditions result in higher productivity, fewer injuries, and greater worker satisfaction. Repetitive activities, prolonged exertion of the hands, and heavy lifting all generate concern for ergonomics experts.
In the office, proper back support, seat and knee angle, and seat height contribute to a posture that is ideal for long hours facing the computer. Keeping wrists straight and a viewing distance of 18-24” from the screen also help align us properly to prevent discomfort and possible injury.
In the lab, repetitive motions such as pipetting, operating microtomes, or even regularly working with microscopes can cause strain. Awkward positions while using biosafety cabinets or lab hoods can also induce muscular stress. To mitigate laboratory ergonomic risks, consider posture, arm and hand position, and flexibility of movement. The OSHA Fact Sheet for Laboratory Safety Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders details all the specific precautions to take. Some tools that can help are the Cole-Parmer Autoclavable Ergonomic Pipettors with a lightweight design and soft plunger movement to reduce hand fatigue. Microscope arm rests provide a soft padded surface to support forearms while viewing samples. Use with any size microscope. The ergonomic design of the Mettler Toledo New Classic ML Precision Balance with a brilliant display and intuitive user interface makes it easy to use for basic balancing needs.
In manufacturing or industrial settings, back injuries and slips and falls are added to the list of potential risks. Alleviate strain on feet and legs with anti-fatigue mats for workers who are standing for hours at a time. To complement proper lifting, hand trucks can be used to haul heavy boxes and equipment and may minimize back strain. The Ergonomic Two-Shelf Truck reduces wrist strain while allowing one-handed operation. Industrial work lamps such as the Ergonomic Incandescent Task Lamp with cool-to-the-touch handles allow you to position light where you need it.
September 13, 2012
It’s Scooby Doo’s birthday! We wonder what Scooby and The Mystery Incorporated Gang might do with innovative forensics tools to help them solve their capers. Maybe they could get relief from their constant state of terror even faster.
Perhaps Scooby, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy could investigate the scene of the crime using more science and less wit. They might use a Microdust Pro Dust Monitoring Kit to measure dust concentration. Or, they could check for the presence of poisonous gas with gas detection tubes or the Leak Hunter Plus™ Gas Leak Detector. They could carefully collect bits of evidence to be placed in Sterile Petri Dishes and analyze them in the lab using the Cole-Parmer® Isocratic HPLC System.
To avoid leaving his own footprints at the scene, Fred could wear Polylatex Shoe Covers or even Polypropylene Shoe Covers with skid-free soles (for quick getaways). Velma will probably lose her glasses somewhere in the process, but at least she can protect her orange sweater. She simply has to wear an Endurosaf™ Apron. Shaggy can avoid getting food crumbs or beverage droplets mixed in with the evidence by donning KIMTECH® Pure® G3 Sterile Critical Nitrile Gloves. When Daphne spills some of the chemical evidence gathered, which she is likely to do, she could use the Multipurpose Spill Treatment Kit to clean it up.
Finally, after all of the evidence is analyzed, Scooby and the gang will follow the clues to hunt down their perpetrator. They can unmask this ghost-of-the-week and breathe a sigh of relief. . .until next week. Happy B’Day Scooby Doo!
For the original Scooby Doo theme song, click here.