TIP OF THE WEEK

Farmers markets are a great place to find the freshest fruits, vegetables and protein available in your area, but while many are open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be mindful of food safety.

Most markets have their own food safety rules that vendors must comply with, as well as related government regulations, but markets can be exposed to contaminants such as dirt, bugs and pollutants. Site also often have little access to water for hand and product washing, and electricity for refrigerating.

Here are a few guidelines you should follow if you’re planning a trip to your local farmers market, according to Tennessee State University:

- Pay attention to the vendor’s food safety practices as you shop.

- Check the stands’ overall cleanliness including gloves and clean utensils for food handling.

- Take time to talk to and learn from vendors. Many vendors are eager to talk about their growing methods.

Fruits and vegetables

- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating cutting or cooking. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel to eliminate bacteria.

- Wash produce even if you plan to peel it before eating.

Eggs

- Eggs should be properly chilled at 40 F. Do not let them stay at room temperature.

- Make sure eggs are clean and shells are not cracked.

Milk and cheeses

- Only buy pasteurized milk products. If it is labeled “For animal use only,” it has not been pasteurized.

Meat

- Meat should be kept in closed coolers with adequate amounts of ice.

- Perishables must be refrigerated within 2 hours, so bring an insulated bag or cooler with you to keep meat cool.

- Separate meat from other ready-to-eat foods.

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EASY RECIPE

Austin-Style MIgas Tacos

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 small white onion, finely diced

1 jalapeño pepper, half of the seeds removed, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

6 large eggs, beaten

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Fresh cilantro, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

Steps

In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the tortillas, one at a time, and cook until lightly browned and crisp. Flip and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Immediately season with salt. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, then break into large pieces.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers, and cook until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have given off their juice and turned into a loose pulp.

Stir in the eggs and continue to cook, still stirring constantly, until soft curds have formed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cheese and fried tortillas, and continue cooking until the cheese has melted and eggs are fully cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the migas between the flour tortillas and serve with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

- SouthernKitchen.com

DRINK

Airlines suspend alcohol services

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple airlines are suspending all or part of their alcohol drinks services. Delta Airlines is not serving alcohol on domestic flights or within the Americas, while international flights will still serve beer, wine and spirits. American Airlines is limiting food and drink service based on the length of the flight and destination.

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FUN FACT

Coffee beans

If you chew on roasted coffee beans, it can help prevent the bacteria that cause bad breath.

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