|Script: USDA’s Food
Safety Mobile, the Food Safety Discovery Zone
Welcome to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service “Food
Safety At Home” podcast series, featuring topics for the safe
handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry and processed
Hi, this is Karen, Carol, and I’m Cody, and today we are going
to talk about the new Food Safety Mobile, now called the Food
Safety Discovery Zone, a traveling educational program of the
United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and
Inspection Service. It’s a new “kitchen on wheels” that will
soon be traveling across our beautiful country showing Americans
how to “Be Food Safe!”
The Food Safety Mobile will hit the road in Spring, 2010, and
may be heading to your town!
The Food Safety Discovery Zone is a 40-foot truck that features
several hands-on, interactive activities, cool lighting and
sound effects, and eye-catching educational tools to teach folks
about the four easy steps that families can take to avoid
Carol: Clean !
Karen: Separate !
Cody: Cook !
Carol: and Chill !
Folks will be invited into the vehicle for a “hands-on”
experience, including audio-visual presentations, real
microscopes where you can see bacteria, and fun games to test
your food safety knowledge.
Karen, why is it so important for all of us to learn about Food
Safety in our homes?
Cody, some bacteria in food can make people very sick. A
foodborne illness can cause stomach aches, stomach cramping, or
diarrhea, and in more severe cases can cause dehydration, kidney
failure and even death.
Karen and Cody:
“Eeew – who is that?!”
That’s BAC! ... Bacteria – our enemy in the kitchen – and our
enemy on the Food Safety Mobile.
Don’t tell me BAC is going on the road with us?
Oh yeah, BAC is everywhere. He really knows where to hide, and
he loves tagging along...especially where there is food. He
loves to live in your kitchen and grow on your food.
But you can fight BAC! By following the four easy steps to food
safety that we will be teaching in the Food Safety Mobile. And,
by making these four steps part of your kitchen routine, you can
ensure that BAC won’t make you or anyone in your family sick.
Ladies, what are four steps to Food Safety that folks will learn
about in the USDA Food Safety Mobile?
The first step is to CLEAN
This sounds as simple as washing your hands, but believe it or
not, many people skimp on this very important step. The key to
being CLEAN is to wash your hands with soap and warm water for
at least 20 seconds. We will use a powder that glows in the dark
to show you how bacteria can still be on your hands after you
wash them if you don’t do it properly. You also need to make
sure you wash your countertops and utensils with hot soapy water
before and after preparing food.
Karen, what is the second easy step to Food Safety?
The next step is to SEPARATE to prevent cross-contamination.
It’s important to keep raw meat or their juices away from other
foods, in your grocery cart, in your refrigerator, or on the
cutting board. Two different cutting boards should be used: one
for raw meat or poultry, and the other for foods, such as
vegetables, cheeses, or other ingredients that will not be
cooked. If you don’t have two cutting boards, then make sure you
wash the cutting board and the countertop with soap and hot
water before moving onto the next step in preparing your food.
I know the next step! – it’s COOK - That’s my FAVORITE step
because it comes right before EATING!
Did you know that you can’t tell if cooked meat or poultry is
safe to eat by looking at it?
You mean you can’t judge a burger by its looks?
Nope, you should always use a food thermometer to check the
internal temperature of cooked meat, poultry, or fish.
Hamburgers or ground beef should be cooked to a minimum internal
temperature of one hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit; chicken
and turkey to one hundred sixty five degrees Fahrenheit, and
fish should be cooked to one hundred forty five degrees
Fahrenheit. You should place the thermometer in the center or
thickest part of the food to be sure you get an accurate
“Remember, it’s not safe to bite until the temperature’s right!”
OK – so far we have learned about the first 3 steps to being
“food safe” - CLEAN, SEPARATE, and COOK….Carol, what’s the final
step to Food Safety?
CHILL (says it like it is “cool”) –
Once you’ve prepared your food safely, and enjoyed it, any
leftovers should be refrigerated right away. Did you know that
bacteria on food can double every 20 minutes? Food should never
be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the
temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t leave food out
for more than 1 hour.
You should also make sure your refrigerator is operating
properly at a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or
So the steps to Food Safety are: Clean, Separate, Cook, and
Carol and Karen:
That’s right Cody!
Okay, but how is the food safety mobile going to help teach
people these steps?
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and
Inspection Service knows how important it is for people to learn
these steps to Food Safety, so that’s why the USDA Food Safety
Mobile, now called the Food Safety Discovery Zone will be taking
the message to the streets, in big cities and small towns across
America. Beginning in Spring, 2010, we will be visiting state
fairs, sporting events, food festivals, tailgates, grocery
stores, and schools – among other events – to reach out to
Americans – so that everyone can learn how to Be Food Safe, and
so that everyone can begin incorporating these steps into their
daily routine, making Food Safety a habit – thereby preventing
illnesses and saving lives.
That’s great! And you can learn more about the traveling Food
Safety Discovery Zone by visiting us on the FSIS website at
FSIS.USDA.GOV under educational materials and campaigns. We will
have the 2010 schedule posted, so you can see where we will be
traveling, play food safety games, ask food safety questions,
and learn more about Food Safety.
Well, we’ve gotta go for now.
Karen, Cody, and Carol:
This is Karen, Carol, and Cody –from the USDA Food Safety
You and your family are invited to stop by and see us at an
event near you!
And if you know of an event in your city that you would like us
to consider visiting, let us know by sending an email to
Thanks for listening today. We’ll SEE YA SOON!
Consumers with food safety questions may call our toll-free USDA
Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. That’s
That’s it for this week. We’ve been listening to Karen, Carol,
and Cody talk about USDA’s new Food Safety Mobile, the Food
Safety Discovery Zone, and remember “Be Food Safe”.
Thanks for listening
to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think
of this podcast by sending your comments to
July 28, 2010