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Story Ideas for Media 5-21-07


Memorial Day picnics and road trips: Ohio State experts on picnic food safety and gas prices.

• Keep food safety in mind as picnic season begins:
Ken Lee, director of Ohio State's Center for Food Safety and Agrosecurity, offers guidance on keeping your Memorial Day picnic safe. Microorganisms love warmer temperatures and can multiply quickly if given the chance. Avoid potential problems by being diligent: Keep your hands, work and eating area clean, and cook foods thoroughly, using a meat thermometer to be sure. If the weather warms to 90 degrees or higher, don't let perishable food sit out longer than one hour. Plus, consider using separate coolers for beverages and perishable foods, so mom's potato salad isn't exposed to warmer air every time you get thirsty. Consider making special ice to inhibit bacteria in your cooler by adding two to four drops of bleach to a gallon of water before freezing it. CONTACT: Ken Lee, (614) 292-7797, lee.133@osu.edu or http://fst.osu.edu/Lee.htm
Why the high gasoline prices? The price of gasoline is more than $3 per gallon, and refining problems could push it higher, just as the summer driving season begins. Matt Lewis, assistant professor of economics at Ohio State, is available to discuss gasoline price increases. CONTACT: Matt Lewis, (614) 292-0480, mlewis@econ.ohio-state.edu, or