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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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[NAME OF ORGANIZATION] Teams Up With USDA to Kick Off a Food Safe Summer

DATELINE, May. XX, 2018 — The summer cooking and grilling season for many Americans is quickly arriving and the , [NAME OF ORGANIZATION] and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to make sure illnesses are prevented at your cookout. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness each year but you can keep you and your family safe this summer by preparing for outdoor cooking and following the USDA’s four steps to food safety: clean, separate, cook and chill.

“Bacteria grow rapidly in warm temperatures and keeping perishable foods cold during the summer months can be difficult, especially while travelling.  Perishable foods need to be kept at 40°F or below to reduce bacterial growth” said FSIS Acting Administrator Paul Kiecker. “When perishable foods are held above 40°F for more than 2 hours the food should not be consumed. In hot weather (above 90°F), food should never sit out for more than one hour.”

[OPTIONAL: ADD A QUOTE FROM ORGANIZATION’S LEADERSHIP]

For many individuals, the best way to keep your foods cold while traveling, or outdoors, is to use a cooler. Ensuring your cooler is fully stocked with ice, or frozen gel packs, can help to keep perishable foods cold. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another cooler. The beverage cooler may be opened frequently causing the temperature inside of the cooler to fluctuate and become unsafe for perishable foods. While driving, keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car and once outside, place it in the shade or out of the sun, whenever possible.

Separate raw meat and poultry at all times from fruits and vegetables and cooked foods. In your cooler, prevent harmful bacteria from raw meat and poultry cross-contaminating other items in your cooler by placing raw meats in water proof containers before placing in a cooler. 

Gathering all the tools and utensil you may need for the cooking process before heading out to the grill can allow you to focus on safe food handling. Grab these items for a safe grilling experience:

  • Food thermometer
  • Paper towels or moist Towelettes
  • Two sets of cooking utensils (tongs, spatulas, forks, etc.).  Use the first set to handle raw items and the other for the cooked foods.
  • Plates or containers for cooked items. Never place cooked foods on the same plate that held raw meat or poultry.

Before eating any meat or poultry you have grilled, verify any illness causing bacteria has been destroyed by using a food thermometer. Use the following safe internal temperature guidelines for your meat and poultry to ensure they are done:

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145°F (63°C) with a 3 minute rest time
  • Ground meats: 160°F (71°C)
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165°F (74°C)

Make sure all leftovers are refrigerated or put on ice within 2 hours after cooking, or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F.  Leftovers should be consumed within 3 to 4 days when refrigerated.

Need more food safety information? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888-674-6854) Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, or email or chat at AskKaren.gov. Consumers can visit FoodSafety.gov to learn more about how the four steps of food safety-Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill. For additional food safety tips, follow FSIS on Twitter, @USDAFoodSafety, or on Facebook, at Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov.

Last Modified May 16, 2018