USDA MyPlate Campaign and HACCP Food Inspection System

USDA MyPlate Campaign and HACCP Food Inspection System

May 28, 2013

Proper nutrition is important for both adults and children. The USDA has a great website for information on all aspects of food nutrition. The website is aptly called The website helps individuals make informed decisions regarding their eating habits. Many child nutrition departments at schools have adopted this website and use the literature on their district websites and in the school cafeterias.

The idea of the MyPlate campaign is to simplify what a healthy food plate should look like. The MyPlate graphic is a brightly colored dinner plate with color-coded sections showing what food should be on the plate. These foods include: fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and a side of dairy. The MyPlate graphic takes the place of the USDA’s previous MyPyramid symbol. The graphic is used across the federal government, as well as by schools, grocery stores, restaurants, privately held companies, and various other people dealing with food.


The USDA provides many great tools and tips for making food choices for a healthy lifestyle. Among the useful information they provide are 10 tips for creating a great plate. These include:

  • Balance calories by finding out how many calories you need for a day.
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less. This means not eating too fast and learning to recognize hunger and fullness cues before, during, and after meals.
  • Avoid oversize portions, by using a smaller plate, bowl, or glass. When eating out, choose a smaller size option, share a dish, or take some of the meal home
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or 1% milk. These foods have the nutrients you need.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The best choices for vegetables are red, orange, and dark-green vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. They have the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as whole milk, but less calories and less saturated fat.
  • Make half your grains whole grains. A good way to do this is by switching out one refined product for a whole grain product, such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, or brown rice, instead of white rice.
  • Eat certain foods less often. Cut back on foods that are high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. These include: ice cream, cakes, cookies, candies, sweetened drinks, pizza, and fatty meats.
  • Compare Sodium in foods. Look at the nutritional facts labels and choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Look for labels at the grocery store that say “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks are one of the biggest sources of added sugars and calories, in diets.

Besides the right balance of food on a plate, it is important that food be heated to the proper temperature. Heating foods to the right temperature for the proper amount of time will kill harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. The easiest way to ensure that this happens is by using an automated HACCP Food Inspection system with a temperature probe.

E-Control Systems’ IntelliCheck™ System has a temperature probe that plugs into any Apple iOS device, including an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Download the free app from the App store and the temperature probe will take an instant temperature reading and transmit and log it to the system in real time. Never worry about what the appropriate temperature is, because the app comes pre-programmed with all food temperatures. Just choose the appropriate food item on your touchscreen, insert the probe into the food, and you will get an instant reading, as well as whether that temperature is in the appropriate recommended range. E-Control Systems helps you take the guesswork out of USDA recommended temperatures.

With the combination of the right foods on your plate and the appropriate temperatures of these foods, you can ensure a healthier lifestyle.

Category: Food Service

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