October 20, 2018

Stay Food Safe This Fourth of July

Several organizations are publicizing food safety for the Fourth of July holiday. The non-profit group Partnership for Food Safety Education has released several videos called Ugly Bug to remind consumers to cook chicken to 165 degrees F, to cook burgers to 160 degrees F, and to avoid cross-contamination by using clean plates to hold cooked food.

American-Flag-FPB2Eatright.org has released information about food safety as well. Always clean the grill before you cook, and wash your hands frequently before preparing food, during preparation, and before you eat. Don’t use the same utensils for cooked and raw foods. Always use a food thermometer to determine when food is cooked; you can’t use other methods, such as visual or textural cues to tell that food is safe to eat. Never let perishable foods sit out longer than two hours at room temperature (one hour if the air temperature is above 90 degrees F), and refrigerate leftovers promptly.

And the USDA is pairing up with the Ad Council, the FDA and CDC, launching new public service advertisements (PSAs) as part of the national Food Safe Families campaign. Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA under secretary for food safety said, “safe food handling is just as important at the grill as it is in the kitchen to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness.” Research conducted by the International Food Information Council has found that many consumers think their cooking practices are safe, when “in fact they’re not following the recommended safe food handling and preparation guidelines,” according to Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council.

The new PSAs follow the story of “Maria”, a TV chef on a fictional cooking show called “Recipes for Disaster”, who makes common food safety mistakes while preparing food. Her missteps are highlighted to help consumers learn how to avoid those mistakes and avoid potentially deadly food poisoning

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