Script: Back to School Food Safety
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service
Food Safety at home podcast series. These podcasts were
designed with you in mind - the consumer - who purchases and
prepares meat, poultry and processed egg products for your family and friends.
Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging
from safe storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry and
processed egg products to the importance of keeping foods safe
during a power outage.
So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.
Welcome to "Food Safety at Home." This is Gertie Hurley with the Food Safety and
Inspection Service. I am your host for this segment. Joining me today is Shelley Feist,
Executive Director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education. Shelley will talk
with us about "Back to School Food Safety."
Welcome to the show, Shelley.
Thank you Gertie, I am happy to be here.
Parents, as you know, September marks the end of summer and the beginning of a
new school year. But did you know that September is also National Food Safety
Education Month®? This is a great time to review the basics of keeping food safe and
preventing foodborne illness. Shelly will provide us with some helpful guidelines from
the Partnership to help you as parents, keep your children healthy throughout the
Shelley, first of all tell us a little bit about the "Partnership for Food Safety
The Partnership, is a non-profit organization and the creator and steward of the Fight
BAC!® food safety education campaign. Fight BAC!® materials are fully accessible
online at www.fightbac.org that's F-I-G-H-T-B-A-C.org
and utilized by consumers, teachers, dietitians, public health officials and extension
agents across the United States.
The Partnership joins together industry associations, professional societies in food
science, nutrition and health, consumer groups, the U. S. Department of Agriculture,
and other government agencies for the purpose of educating the public about safe food
handling and preparation.
What are some of the things parents need to know about "Back to School Food Safety?"
We want to remind parents to follow the four simple steps of, Clean, Separate,
Cook and Chill to "be Food Safe and Fight BAC!" and reduce their family's risk
of foodborne illness.
What is a beginning step to start the process?
Parents can begin with packing safe lunches for their children. First of all, start
with a clean scene! This means clean hands and clean surfaces! Wash hands with warm
water and soap for at least twenty seconds before you make or eat a snack or meal, and
after playing outside or touching pets and using the bathroom. You can sing "Happy Birthday"
twice while washing hands to make sure you are washing long enough to send those germs
down the drain! Rinse fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those
with skins and rinds that are not eaten, and blot them dry with a paper towel. Wash
insulated lunch totes or boxes with hot soapy water after each use. Or use a paper
bag-but only use it once.
The next important step is Separate right, Shelley?
That's right Gertie! Don't cross-contaminate. Always use a clean cutting board and be
sure to use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for meat, poultry
and seafood when preparing lunches.
Naturally, the lunch should be kept in the refrigerator if it was prepared the night
You are right again, Gertie. Keep perishable food in the refrigerator until it's time
to pack up and go. Also pack the lunch in an insulated lunch box, with a frozen gel
pack or a frozen juice box to keep cold foods cold. And, use a separate insulated
container to keep hot food hot at 140 °F or above.
Shelley, if any students are listening, what advice do you have for them?
Students, never leave perishable foods out at room temperature for more than two
hours, (and only one hour if the temperature is 90 °F). Don't leave them in your
locker without a cold source. Toss out any perishable food that you don't eat at
lunchtime. And remember, sharing drinks or food with classmates might spread germs.
Does the Partnership have resources for teachers?
Yes, we certainly have. The Partnership has activity sheets, curriculum materials and
a handwashing poster available free for download at
www.fightbac.org that's F-I-G-H-T-B-A-C. O-R-G. Teachers can find many classroom
and after school program activities to help their students learn about food safety.
Where can parents get more information about food safety?
Parents can download and print their own basic food safety information brochure from
the Web site at fightbac.org.
That's it for this week. We have been talking to Shelley Feist from the Partnership
for Food Safety Education. Thank you Shelley. I am Gertie Hurley and I'd like to thank
you for joining us for this episode of "Food Safety at Home" and remember, "Be Food
Well, that's all for this time. Thanks for joining us today
for another episode of food safety at home!
For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free
meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-mphotline. That's
You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our
virtual representative "ask karen" at
Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your
comments to email@example.com.
Thanks for tuning in.
Last Modified: August 27, 20088