Consumer Q’s

Does rinsing or washing raw poultry remove germs?

(Consumer Q’s is prepared by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Gary W. Black, Commissioner.)

Q: Should I rinse or wash raw chicken before cooking it?

A: No. Rinsing or washing poultry before you cook it is ineffective at killing germs and can actually spread them. You can contaminate the kitchen by splashing and dripping on utensils, countertops and other food. Recent university studies re-confirm this. Bacteria present on the surface of the meat or in the meat are destroyed by cooking it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. * * *

Q: Is it true that cooked pumpkin may be good for dogs?

A: Please consult your veterinarian before adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet. Some veterinarians may recommend mixing a little cooked pumpkin with regular dog food to add vitamins, minerals and fiber to your dog’s diet or to address certain health conditions. If you choose to add it, be sure to select canned pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling has sugar and spices that are not good for dogs. Instead of canned, you may want to cook your own pumpkin or butternut squash and use that instead. * * *

Q: What are some tips for succeeding with pansies?

A: Prepare the bed beforehand by adding compost, especially if you have heavy clay or sandy soil. If planting in containers use high-quality potting soil and the largest containers possible. Make sure the containers have a drainage hole at the bottom. Plant the pansies where they will receive at least four hours of unfiltered sunlight each day. Provide morning sun if possible. To fertilize, use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 and follow directions on the label. It is always better to under-fertilize than to use too much. Water your plants, especially those in containers, before a hard freeze. Keep the old flowers pinched off so they don’t produce seeds. This is called deadheading and encourages the production of more blooms. * * *

Q: Will there be another Stallion to Gelding Day like last year?

A: Yes. Equine veterinarians across Georgia are joining the Georgia Equine Rescue League (GERL) to host the 3rd Annual Georgia Stallion to Gelding Castration Day, a low-cost castration clinic, for $100 per horse. GERL will pay $50 and the owner/client will pay $50. For more information contact the GERL website at www.gerlltd.org. * * *

If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, write Arty Schronce (arty.schronce@agr.georgia.gov) or visit the department’s website at www.agr.georgia.gov .



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