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Script: Food Safety While Boating and Fishing

 

Podcasts
Script: Food Safety While Boating and Fishing
Intro:
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 meat, 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.

Sasha: Antoinette, I am so glad you decided to come on this fishing trip with me.

Antoinette: This is my first time boating and fishing, so I’m really excited! I brought some hamburger patties, potato salad and some fresh fruit to take with us.

Sasha: Thanks, Antoinette. Boating and fishing really works up an appetite. I’ll bring along my small grill so we can cook while we’re on the boat.

Let’s take three coolers. One for the drinks, one for the fish we catch and the other for the perishable foods we’re taking that need to stay chilled. It’s important that we always follow the steps of the Be Food Safe Campaign: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

We need keep the foods chilled on ice and be careful not to let juices from raw meats, poultry or fish get onto foods that will not be cooked, such as potato salad and fresh fruit. We don’t want to cross-contaminate anything. Do you know what steps are involved here?

Antoinette: Clean and Separate?

Sasha: Yes!

Antoinette: Sasha, will you teach me about the other steps?

Sasha: Absolutely, I’d be happy to tell you more. First, more about cross-contamination. Is that okay?

Antoinette: It sure is.

Sasha: Cross-contamination is the transfer of bacteria to a food from other foods, which can cause foodborne illness. So, if we store the drinks, the hamburger patties, potato salad and the fish we catch in separate containers, we’ll prevent the juices from leaking onto each other and into the ice. The ice will keep our food cold and keep it from becoming unsafe. This is a combination of the Chill and Separate steps.

Antoinette: How long will food stay safe if it’s not refrigerated?

Sasha: It depends. When you’re out on the water, the direct heat from the sun can become an even bigger food safety problem. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in warm temperatures, and food can become unsafe if held in the “Danger Zone,” which is between forty and one hundred forty degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours.

Antoinette: So, you’re saying food must be always kept chilled in coolers or refrigerated so harmful bacteria don’t multiply.

Sasha: Yes, exactly! Antoinette. It’s also important to keep the coolers closed, out of the sun, and covered with a blanket, if possible, to insulate them.

Antoinette: Are we ready to go yet? I’m anxious to get started.

Sasha: Yes, Antoinette; We’re all set to catch some fish. I hope you catch the first one!

Antoinette: What if we catch a lot and can’t eat them all? Will harmful bacteria grow on fish, too?

Sasha: Yes, we'll need to handle the fish safely. First, it is important to scale, gut, and clean fish as soon as they’re caught. Or we can keep live fish on stringers in live wells on the boat, as long as they have enough water and enough room to move and breathe. Also, we can wrap the fish, both whole and cleaned, in watertight plastic and store them on ice. Three to four inches of ice should be packed on the bottom of the cooler and then we’ll alternate layers of fish and ice.

No matter which way we choose, it is important to remember to wash our hands with hand sanitizer or disposable wipes after handling raw fish, especially if warm water and soap are not available on the boat.

Antoinette: This is the Clean step. I didn’t forget the steps you’ve told me. Let’s see: We’ve talked about the Separate step, then the Chill step and now the Clean step. The only other step left is the Cook step, right?

Sasha: That’s right! We’ll get to that step when we cook our food-- and that’s right now!

Antoinette, tell me what you know about safe cooking.

Antoinette: I know only what I read in those food safety books you gave me last week. It’s very important to cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Grilled meat, poultry and fish often brown quickly and may appear done on the outside, but still may not have reached a safe minimum internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria. A food thermometer is an important tool for grilling and cooking meat and poultry.

Sasha: That’s right, Antoinette, the thermometer will determine if your food is thoroughly cooked, because color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Can you use the same thermometer to check the internal temperatures for both hamburgers and fish?

Antoinette: No, you shouldn’t, unless you wash it in-between, because of what you said earlier about cross-contamination.

Sasha: So, what should we do?

Antoinette: Well, if we have two separate thermometers we should use one for the hamburgers and the other for the fish. If we only have one thermometer, we should clean it with hot soapy water after each use to prevent cross-contamination.

Sasha: You are exactly right! And what step did we just discuss?

Antoinette: The Cook step.

Sasha, how long can we store the fish once we get them home?

Sasha: That’s a good question, Antoinette. Fresh fish should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within one to two days. If you choose to freeze the fish, it should be eaten within three to six months for best quality.

Antoinette: Sasha, thanks for inviting me on your boat, it has been a great day, and I have learned so much about food safety while boating.

Sasha: There are two more things we have to do before we get off the boat and that’s to clean up, which means we need to bag up all our trash and dispose of it properly when we return to shore, and to use disposable wipes to wash our hands afterwards.

Antoinette: Ah, the Clean step continued!

Sasha and Antoinette: (They both giggle.)

Sasha: This segment of Food Safety at Home has been brought to you by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, Food Safety Education Staff. We want you to Be Food Safe!

You can learn more about food safety and find the recommended safe minimum internal cooking temperatures for meat and poultry on the FSIS Web site at:
www.fsis.usda.gov. That’s www.fsis.usda.gov.
Or visit us online for assistance from our virtual representative “Ask Karen” at askkaren.gov.

Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888- MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.

Outro:
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 1-888-674-6854.

You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative "Ask Karen" at askkaren.gov.

You can learn more about food safety and find the recommended safe minimum internal cooking temperatures for meat and poultry on the FSIS Web site at:
www.fsis.usda.gov. That’s www.fsis.usda.gov.
Or visit us online for assistance from our virtual representative “Ask Karen” at askkaren.gov.

Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888- MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.

Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to podcast@fsis.usda.gov.
Thanks for tuning in.
Last Modified Nov 08, 2013