Who is F-A-T-T-O-M?

Who Is F-A-T-T-O-M?

It's not a who, but a what.

As a new cook you want to be safe in the kitchen. This couldn't be more important when starting to make snacks and meals for your friends, family and yourself. Stories of other people getting food poisoning are never fun. But, if you get caught on the wrong end of your great aunt Doreen's famous egg salad, it is definitely something you will never forget. Messing with F-A-T-T-O-M, will really ruin your day!

What is F-A-T-T-O-M?

F-A-T-T-O-M is an acronym for the conditions bacteria and gross stuff need to thrive and grow.

  • Food - The type of food you have will let you know how risky you food choices can be. Foods like fish, milk, eggs, and cooked grains are all have a high risk of contamination.
  • Acid - The level of acidity will let you know if it's a good environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria like slightly acidic environments and foods like tomatoes, and vinegar.
  • Time and Temperature - The more time food is in the "Temperature Danger Zone" (40 F- 140 F, see below) the better chance that bacteria can spread. They love warm temps, which is the perfect environment for them to reproduce - Oh yeah that's business time for little microscopic organisms, and they can go all night long!
  • Don't drive on through the "Temperature Danger Zone". Keep hot food hot (above 140° F), like soups, meat and casseroles and cold foods cold (below 40° F), like salads, dairy and eggs. This will keep those little buggers from getting busy and making your life miserable.Foods kept in the danger zone for more than 3 hours should be thrown away.

  • Oxygen – Just like you most of bacteria need oxygen to grow. That's why we wrap our food in plastic and seal containers tight. No air, no bacteria!
  • Moisture – Bacteria also need certain amount of moisture to live and produce. Foods that are low in moisture like pasta, dried grains and nuts have less of a chance for bacteria to grow than meat, vegetables and cooked grains.
  • Think about FATTOM the next time you bring dishes to a potluck, cookout, camping or to a sweet music festival. When I go to a party (and I do like to get down), I like to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great time!

    Now get Crackin'! Chef Egg

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