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Eat Healthier, Tailgate Safer

WEST PITTSTON, Pa. — Eating a balanced diet can sometimes unbalance your funds, but there’s a group in Luzerne County that’s helping those on ...

WEST PITTSTON, Pa. -- Eating a balanced diet can sometimes unbalance your funds, but there's a group in Luzerne County that's helping those on a fixed income eat healthier.

They also educate them on food safety, from your home to a football tailgate.

If you are looking to eat better on a budget, the Penn State Extension in West Pittston can help. The folks there focus on educating people around northeastern Pennsylvania on an array of health and wellness programs.

One of them is called Nutrition Links where they work with lower income families to get them to eat healthier

"I try to help them stay within their budget, proper shopping, how to prepare vegetables, how to prepare meats, food safety," said nutrition education adviser Karel Zubris.

Food safety doesn't just mean inside the home; it also extends outside to your next football tailgate.

"We want to make sure people have separate coolers -- coolers for drinks and coolers for raw foods -- and also be very mindful of how long your food is out," said Mary Ehret, Penn State Nutrition Links.

Many times at a tailgate, you're too busy having a good time and forget about things like cross-contamination.

"If you use the same cooler, your raw meat could touch the top of the soda can," Ehret said. "Another way could be putting your raw meat on the grill with your hands and then going to get a pretzel or a chip."

The best way to protect yourself?

"There are some barriers, not like everyone wants to carry plastic gloves but it's not a bad thing to do," Ehret added.

Another thing the people at the Penn State extension advise is to eat more vegetables, including things like kohlrabi which they say makes a great side dish at any tailgate.

Get more information about Penn State Extension here.

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