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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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Summer 2018 Food Safety Toolkit: Talking Points

  • The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (www.fsis.usda.gov) is the public health regulatory agency in USDA responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled.
  • This summer [NAME OF ORGANIZATION] has teamed up with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure everyone has a healthy, safe and bacteria-free summer.
  • Food poisoning is a serious public health threat. CDC estimates that approximately one in six Americans (or 48 million people) could suffer from foodborne illness this year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
  • FSIS works hard to make sure the food you bring home is safe, but there is always a chance to contract foodborne illnesses, commonly known as food poisoning. This summer USDA is helping consumers learn how to protect themselves with the four steps to food safety – Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.
  • 4 Steps to Food Safety: Clean. Separate. Cook. Chill.
  • Clean: Clean hands, surfaces and utensils with soap and warm water before cooking. Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after handling raw food.
  • Separate: Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils to avoid cross-contamination between raw meat or poultry and foods that are ready to eat.
  • Cook: Confirm foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature by using a food thermometer. Beef hamburgers should be cooked to 160˚F and chicken to 165°F.
  • Chill: Chill foods promptly if not consuming immediately after cooking. Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than 2 hours and within 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F.
  • Foodborne illness rates increase during the summer for two reasons:
    • Natural causes: bacteria are present throughout the environment in soil, air, water and in our bodies.  These microorganisms grow faster during the summer months because of the hot and humid climate.
    • Outside activities increase during the summer. More people are cooking outside at picnics, barbeques and on camping trips.  Given these circumstances, harmful bacteria have many opportunities to quickly multiply on food and get people sick.
  • Ensuring your cooler is fully stocked with ice or frozen gel packs can help to keep perishable foods cold. Pack 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.
  • Always use a food thermometer to ensure your meat and poultry is safe to eat. Follow these guidelines to ensure you have destroyed harmful bacteria:
    • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F (63°C)
    • Ground meats: 160°F (71°C)
    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F (74°C)
  • Leftovers should be stored within 2 hours of cooking. Divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • For more information and tips on preparing safe summer meals, consumers can visit FoodSafety.gov or call the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Families can also access “Ask Karen,” in English (www.askKaren.gov) and Spanish (www.pregunteleaKaren.gov) online database available 24/7 that answers specific questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses.
Last Modified May 08, 2018