June 2, 2020

Food Safety Guides for Those Most Vulnerable to Foodborne Illness

The USDA and the FDA have partnered to create six booklets with food safety advice for those who are most at risk for serious complications of foodborne illness. The booklets are tailored to older adults, transplant recipients, pregnant women, and people with cancer, diabetes, or HIV/AIDS.

food poisoningUSDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said in a press release, “These booklets are a much needed resource for consumers who are at increased risk of getting sick from food. The clear, understandable information in these booklets will help at-risk individuals feel confident about the safety of foods they prepare and eat. The booklets are also helpful to physicians and other health care providers for educating their at-risk patients about foodborne illness.”

Each booklet has 24 pages of practical advice and guidance on how to prevent foodborne illness. The booklets also have three tear-out cards that contain quick-reference tips for everyday food preparation. They provide information about grocery shopping, cooking foods to safe final internal temperatures, and eating at restaurants. The booklets list the major pathogens that cause foodborne illness, how people come into contact with the bacteria, and symptoms of illness. Higher risk foods are identified, along with recommendations for cold storage and a foodborne illness action plan.

Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, said, “everyone from farmers to food manufacturers to food preparers in the home has a role in food safety. It is important that consumers, particularly those who are at higher risk of foodborne illness, have information they can use to do their part in preventing illness by properly selecting and preparing foods.”

The booklet for pregnant women is new. The others were produced in 2006. You can order booklets for your home, office, or organization by calling the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854 Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.

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