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Give Thanks: Standards Assure Safety for Holiday Meals

New York, Nov 27, 2008

As Americans from coast to coast join together with family and friends to express their gratitude and appreciation, many will be sitting down to one of the biggest dinners of the year. Food is an important part of every Thanksgiving celebration, and standards are in place to assure that these sweet and savory dishes are safe and delicious.

Turkey will be at almost every table for today’s feast. An American National Standard developed by NSF International provides hygiene requirements for workers who handle turkeys, reducing the risk of bacteria growth or transfer. NSF/ANSI 3-A 14159-2-2003, Hygiene Requirements for the Design of Hand Held Tools Used in Meat and Poultry Processing, applies to poultry and meat at several stages throughout processing, providing a turkey that is as safe as it is tasty.

NSF is a member and Audited Designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

While some line up for the turkey, others in the family can’t wait for the mashed potatoes. International Standard ISO 7562:1990, Potatoes -- Guidelines for storage in artificially ventilated stores, assures that the potatoes used in the creamy side dish have been stored in a manner that permits preservation of the growth potential and productivity of seed potatoes, and maintains valued cooking qualities such as characteristic flavor and a lack of discoloration.

ISO 7562:1990 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products. The ANSI-accredited Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for this TC is the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), an ANSI organizational member.

Thanksgiving dinner may be filling, but on this holiday nearly everyone makes room for pie. Traditional pumpkin pie owes much of its unique flavor to the blend of seasonings mixed into the filling. Nutmeg, an essential spice in pumpkin pie, is covered by another standard developed by ISO/TC 34. ISO 6577:2002, Nutmeg, whole or broken, and mace, whole or in pieces (Myristica fragrans Houtt.) – Specification, provides requirements for the spice that assure a uniform taste and consistency.

From guidelines for turkey to pie and everything in between, give thanks to standards for assuring an enjoyable, safe holiday for all.

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