On June 21st, Canadians from all walks of life are invited to participate in the many National Aboriginal Day events that will be taking place from coast to coast to coast. This is a special day to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.
The first lighthouse
The first documented lighthouse was built in 200 BC on the island of Pharos by the Egyptian Emperor Ptolemy. It was the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is thought to have been 492 ft (150 meters) high – about three times taller than modern lighthouses. Romans emperors built many lighthouses to assist their navigators. In 90 AD, Emperor Caligula ordered a light house at Dover, England. It is the oldest lighthouse in England and still stands in the Dover Castle grounds. The world’s tallest brick lighthouse, the Lanterna at Genoa, was built in 1543. It still stands proud at 246 ft (75m) tall. The world’s first stone lighthouse was the Smeaton Eddystone (picture below), built just south of Plymouth, England in 1756 by John Smeaton, the “Father of Civil Engineering.” It was lit with only 24 candles. The Eddystone lasted 47 years until it was floored by fire. It was then dismantled and built on a neighboring rock. Today, lighthouse lights are the equivalent of 20 million candles.
Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
The risk of food poisoning increases during the summer because harmful bacteria grow quickly in warm, moist conditions.
Ensuring the safety of food can be challenging this time of year because temperatures are warmer and we often cook outdoors during picnics, barbecues, and camping trips.
Here are some outdoor food safety tips to help keep you and your family safe from food poisoning during the summer.
• Don’t keep food at room temperature for more than one hour on hot summer days.
• Keep perishable foods cold. Use a cooler filled with ice packs to store your food on the go. The temperature inside the cooler should be at or below 4°C (40°F).
• Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight and avoid opening it too often. Opening the cooler lets cold air out and warm air in. Using separate coolers for food and drinks will keep the food colder for longer because the cooler won’t be opened as often.
• Marinate meat in the refrigerator or in a cooler filled with ice– not on the counter. If you are using marinade to baste cooked meat or as a dipping sauce, make sure it hasn’t come into contact with uncooked meat.
Did you know?
Always remember to keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F). Harmful bacteria can grow in as little as two hours in this temperature range.
• Keep your raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods to avoid spreading harmful bacteria. Using containers or re-sealable plastic bags will help prevent leaks.
• Put raw meat, poultry, and seafood at the bottom of the cooler to keep juices from dripping onto other foods.
Washing your hands and following proper cleaning techniques can help you avoid cross-contamination and prevent food poisoning.
Follow the same washing instructions outdoors as you do at home:
1. Use clean water and soap to thoroughly wash all utensils, dinnerware, countertops, and cutting boards before and after use.
2. Sanitize cooking equipment, utensils, and work surfaces with a mild bleach solution.
3. Rinse with fresh water and air dry.
Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, before and after handling food.
• Bacteria are killed by heat. Raw meat, poultry, and seafood must be cooked to a safe internal temperature to eliminate harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Use a digital food thermometer to check the temperature.
• Use a clean plate when taking food off the grill. Never put ready-to-eat or cooked food on a plate that was used for raw meat, poultry or seafood–wash the plate first. Keeping several sets of clean utensils, cutting boards, and plates on hand will help you prevent cross-contamination.
• Cool food quickly in shallow containers. On hot summer days, don’t keep food at room temperature for more than one hour.
Rivers to Oceans Week is an opportunity to work together to create an understanding of Canada’s watersheds, our connection to fresh- and salt-water environments and what everyone can do to protect and keep watersheds healthy for people and wildlife.