Food safety and health are important. Check out these helpful resources:
- Still Tasty (Online Shelf Life Guide)
- Food Keeper Information
- Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
- USDA Products Recalls
- ServSafe Food Handlers Information
- Loading & Transporting Food Safely
- How To Wash Your Hands
- Can Safety
- Preventing the Spread of Disease/Safe Handling of Meat and Poultry Products
- Food Safety Poster
- Customer Complaint Form
- Feeding America
Check the News section for current product recalls.
USDA training, handbook and printable forms:
- Food and Nutrition Service Civil Rights Complaint Sample Form
- Food and Nutrition Service Civil Rights Acceptance Sample Letter
- Equal Opportunity Public Notification Policy
- Spanish Nondiscrimination Statement
- Civil Rights Complaint Sample Form
- Nebraska Civil Rights Training Presentation
- Nebraska Civil Rights Training Requirements for Volunteers
- Civil Rights Training for Agency Volunteers – (Español)
- Civil Rights Training for Agency Volunteers – (English)
- TEFAP Civil Rights Training Certification Form
- TEFAP Emergency Food Assistance Program Form (FDP-105)
- TEFAP Programa Temporal de Asistencia de Alimentos de Emergencia (FDP-105 Español)
- TEFAP Handbook 2019-2020 — Food Disposal Form is on page 27
- TEFAP Proxy Form
- TEFAP Proxy Form (Español)
- Food Storage Charts – Refrigerator/Freezer
Food Safety Information
Food safety is of primary concern to the Food Bank of Lincoln, our agencies and to the people you serve. Here are some general rules that protect both the food you distribute and the guests you’re serving:
- Keep Cold Foods Cold and Hot Foods Hot: Frozen and refrigerated product should be maintained in cold temperatures during transport if possible. It should also be delivered and stored as quickly as possible. Refrigerated food should be transported and stored at 41°F or less. Transport and store frozen foods at 0°F or less. Keep hot food at 135°F or higher.
- Never re-freeze thawed food: Occasionally, meats may be frozen prior to their expiration date. Be sure to tell your clients to prepare the entire product immediately after thawing. Previously frozen foods should never be thawed and then re-frozen. Thaw frozen foods at 41°F, never at room temperature. They can also be thawed in a microwave or under running cold water.
- Inspect cans for damage: Dispose of any cans that are swollen, are leaking, have seal problems, lids are popped, have major dents or are rusted. When in doubt, simply throw it away.
- Circulate your inventory: Be sure to use the First In First Out (FIFO) method of stocking and distributing your inventory.
- Keep up with Recalls: If the Food Bank of Lincoln has distributed product affected by recalls to our agencies, we will send a notification. However, some agencies might have received some products via donations, shopping, store purchases, food drives or other donations. Please check your pantries, kitchens, storage areas, etc. for these products. Please also post notices so your clients are aware of these recalls if it’s possible they may have them at home. You can check for current recalls by going to Agency News.
Always exercise caution if you have any concerns about a product’s integrity or food safety.
Remember: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT.
Expiration Date Guidelines
There are several different types of dates in the products that might cause some confusion. Here are some of the most common dates used by food manufacturers:
- “Sell-by” Date – tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
- “Best if used by (or before)” Date – is a recommendation to help you get the best quality or flavor. It is not meant as a purchase or safety date.
- “Use-by” Date – is the last date recommended for the use of the product at peak quality. The product’s manufacturer determines this date.
- Do not distribute baby food and formula after it has expired.
Please reference the Food Keeper Guide for any questions about dates as well as the USDA Fact Sheet. If you would like more tips and information, you can also visit UNL Extension Office Food Safety with more links and resources.