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Safe at home

The cheese is green, the bread is moldy, and the leftover meatloaf has been in the fridge for two weeks. Should you serve them? That's easy to answer (unless of course, you don't like your guests), but for the trickier, less obvious food safety dilemmas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a free brochure, "A Quick Consumer Guide to Safe Food Handling." It covers food safety aspects of shopping, storage, preparation, cooking, microwaving, serving and leftovers. The brochure's chart details how long you can safely keep foods in the refrigerator and freezer as well as cooking temperatures that kill bacteria. For a single free copy, write to: Consumer Information Center, 574-X, Pueblo, Colo. 81009.What's in fat-free?

We're hearing raves about Haagen Dazs frozen yogurt, touted as "96 percent fat-free," which brings up, once again, the question, "What does such-and-such percent fat-free mean?" It does not mean that Haagen Dazs frozen yogurt has 96 percent less fat than other frozen yogurts; it does mean that it has 4 percent fat by weight (100 minus 96 equals 4). That can be meaningless (the true goal is 100 percent fat-free, like a carrot). A more meaningful comparison is by grams of fat, and, inthat case, the new Haagen Dazs product doesn't look so sweet. A half-cup of vanilla contains 4 grams of fat, higher than most other vanilla frozen yogurts and ice milks.

Mushrooming uses

Not enough fun with fungus in your life? Then you need to know that mushrooms are useful for more than pizza and salads. Get Mastering Mushrooms: A Guide to Mushroom Cookery from the Mushroom Council with handling, cooking tips and recipes like Gold and Spicy Mushroom Noodles and Herb Marinated Mushrooms. Send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to: "Mastering Mushrooms," 55 Union St., San Francisco, Calif. 94111-1217.

_ Compiled from Times

wire services.