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
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” I’m Kathy Bernard with the
Food Safety and Inspection Service. I’m your host for this
Today we’ll be talking about lunchmeat safety. Let’s listen in
as two friends discuss lunchmeats at the deli counter.
(2 women in grocery store, at the deli counter)
Hello Sue! How are you doing?
I’m fine Nadine, good to see you. Have you been waiting long at
No, not too long. The line seems to be moving quickly. So,
when’s your baby due?
Next month, it’s going to be a girl!
Staff –Deli Counter:
Serving number 4…
Oh! Excuse me a second it’s my turn …Hi!
Can I help you?
I would like a pound of ham and ½ pound of salami.
Coming right up..
Thanks. Sue you should get some salami; it’s on sale this week!
Oh I can’t eat lunchmeat, unless I cook it first, because I’m
What? I’ve never heard of that!
It’s true, Dr. Jones told me not to eat lunchmeat because
lunchmeat such as; bologna, salami and other ready to eat
products can contain a bacteria called “Listeria” that may be
harmful to me and the baby.
Wow, I need to learn more about “Listeria”, I never knew that!
Well, I looked it up on line at
www.fsis.usda.gov, there’s a lot
of information on the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s web
site about how persons at risk, and I’m at risk because I’m
pregnant, should avoid eating lunchmeats without heating them
first. That also includes hot dogs, bologna and other ready to
eat foods. I can only eat them if I reheat them till steaming
hot. There’s even a podcast that you can listen to about
“Listeria” on the web site, it explains everything. You should
check it out.
I will. Thanks for the information.
(weeks go by, and they meet again at the grocery store
Sue! Congratulations on the baby, you look great!
Thanks. She is doing very well; she is already 2 weeks old.
Wow, How time flies. Since I haven’t seen you in awhile, I
wanted to mention that I went to the FSIS Web site that you told
me about last time I saw you, and boy did I learn a lot about
food safety! I am now into the habit of checking the sell by
dates on my packaged lunch meat, I know that deli sliced
lunchmeat can be stored in the refrigerator 3-5 days or 1-2
months in the freezer. But if I purchase pre-packaged lunch meat
I would have 2 weeks in the refrigerator, unopened, or 3-5 days
after opening and 1-2 months in the freezer. Of course, anything
that stays in the freezer longer is still safe, it just might
hurt the quality of the meat.
I am so glad you learned more about food safety, it’s so
important to keep your family safe.
You can find all of this information and more, by visiting the
FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov. Or visit us online for
assistance from our virtual representative “Ask Karen” at
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry
Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.
That’s it for this week. We’ve been talking about lunchmeat
safety. I’m Kathy Bernard and I’d like to thank you for joining
us for this episode of “Food Safety at Home.” And remember, “Be
Thanks for listening
to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think
of this podcast by sending your comments to
August 11, 2010