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food safe families

Teaching Kids Food Safety Tips for a Healthy Next Generation

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ensures that America’s meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe and wholesome. Educating the public on proper food handling practices is a core agency mission as well. It’s even more important when one considers the impact safe food handling practices have on children.

With a generation of children brought up relating the word “celebrity” to chefs just as readily as they do to athletes, food safety education has a more receptive audience among teens and young adults than ever before. With the help of parents and guardians, the current generation of children could have fewer preventable cases of foodborne illness than ever before.

Teach Your Growing 'Superhero' to Defeat Bacteria, Use Their Powers to be Food Safe at Any Age

“Aw, Mom, I’ll be fine,” says a teen off to college for the first time when cautioned about handling food safely.

An elementary school student tells his dad not to mention putting the cold pack in his lunchbox. “Don’t bug me in front of my friends,” says the gradeschooler who feels embarrassed. “Charlie’s folks don’t make him keep his lunch cold.”

Strong, healthy students of all ages may feel invincible to becoming ill from food. It may be the “superhero” mentality of video games and movies or just the optimism of youth. After all, if the food looks and smells good, what can be wrong with it?

Niños del Grupo 4-H en Puerto Rico Aprenden los Pasos: Limpiar, Preparar, Cocinar y Enfriar

El 23 de febrero del 2012, niños de clubes 4-H en Puerto Rico aprendieron sobre la importancia de un manejo adecuado de alimentos, por medio del campamento de inocuidad alimentaria. El Personal para al Educación de Inocuidad Alimentaria del Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de Alimentos trabajó en colaboración con el Consorcio para la Educación de Seguridad de Alimentos en Puerto Rico, al recibir 60 niños en el Jardín Botánico de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, en sus esfuerzos de reducir riesgos de enfermedades causadas a través de los alimentos al introducir nuevos hábitos que permanezcan con los niños por toda la vida.

Durante el evento, llamado “Explorando el Mundo de Inocuidad Alimentaria a través de la Ciencia”, los clubes 4-H rotaron por 6 estaciones de educación interactiva que les enseñaron a cómo prevenir el envenenamiento por alimentos por medio de los cuatro comportamientos para un buen manejo de alimentos de la campaña Familias Preparando Alimentos Adecuadamente: Limpiar, Separar, Cocinar y Enfriar.

Puerto Rico 4-H Members Learn to Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill

Yesterday, members of Puerto Rico’s 4-H club learned about the importance of safe food handling at a hands-on, entertaining food safety camp. The Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Food Safety Education Staff collaborated with the Puerto Rico Food Safety Educational Consortium to host 60 kids at the University of Puerto Rico’s Botanical Gardens in an effort to instill lifelong good habits that will reduce their risk of foodborne illness.

During the event, called “Exploring the World of Food Safety through Science,” the 4-H club toured 6 interactive learning stations that taught them how to prevent food poisoning by featuring the four food safety behaviors from the Food Safe Families campaign: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

Don't Just "Wing It!" Defeat Food Poisoning at Your Super Bowl Party with Food Safety Tips and a Bonus Recipe

Have plans for the big game? We all know this day is more than just football. It’s also the second largest day for food consumption in the U.S., next to Thanksgiving Day. Chips, wings, guacamole, chili—sounds like a good time right? It should be!

Don’t let this snack-filled day end in food poisoning. Food poisoning has lots of causes, including leaving food out too long. Here are some tips to ensure everyone enjoys the big game between the Giants and Patriots, and all the good food that comes with it!

USDA 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum: Sessions Focusing on Disease Prevention and Response

USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 23-24, will present 25 breakout sessions, including “Preventing Disease From Crossing the Border: SPS Initiatives for Global Food Security” and “Fighting Foodborne Illness.”  While the first session will focus on the contribution of animal health to global food security, I’ll be moderating the second session that looks at Salmonella and the most recent progress made in fighting its threat to public health.

Since a coordinated response to outbreaks is a vital component of protecting American animal agriculture, the “Preventing Disease From Crossing the Border” session includes cooperative perspectives.  Dr. Jose Diez, Associate Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Veterinary Services Emergency Management and Diagnostics Service will address “Global Emergency Response.”  Dr. Mo Salman, Colorado State University, will discuss “Enhancing International Capacity to Meet SPS Standards;” and Former Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agriculture, Jason Hafemeister, addresses “SPS Issues and Free Trade Agreements.”

Tweet with Us before You Gobble! Join USDA for a Thanksgiving Food Safety Twitter Chat

Tomorrow, November 22, celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman (known for her show, Simply Delicioso) will be joining USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline and a Food and Drug Administration food safety advisor to ease concerns for anyone hosting a Thanksgiving meal. Still haven’t bought your turkey and wondering what size to buy? Is your turkey still frozen, though your recipe calls for thawing? You don’t trust your brother-in-law to fry a bird properly? We have the solutions to these and more!

Log in to Twitter tomorrow from 1 pm to 2 pm EST, and include the hashtag #trkytips as you tweet your Thanksgiving food safety questions. @FoodSafetygov will select questions from the audience so that the chat covers a range of topics, and the panel of experts will respond via @USDAFoodSafety. If you do not have a specific question, just follow the hashtag to see what advice they send to other tweeps. Over the past 25 years, the Meat and Poultry Hotline truly has heard it all when it comes to Thanksgiving conundrums, and for one hour they will have Ingrid’s and the FDA’s extra support.

Check Your Steps! Chill: How to Pack a Cooler to Prevent Food Poisoning

Here in Washington, D.C., and probably where you live too, it is hot! This week’s Check Your Steps blog focuses on a timely food safety step—Chill. You may feel like this guy, but in reality we don’t recommend keeping your food cold with fans, no matter how many you can find.

Bacteria grow rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F, and when it’s above 90 °F outside, cold food heats to those temperatures much faster. Portable coolers can be your best friend during outdoor summer activities or grocery shopping, but pack them correctly to keep food at 40 °F or below so it doesn’t spoil or make you sick.

Check Your Steps! SEPARATE Raw Meats from Other Foods to Keep Your Family Safer From Food Poisoning

For the past two Tuesdays as part of the Food Safe Families campaign, I’ve blogged about two basic food safety steps that are important but easy to implement in your food prep routine—cook and clean. Today, I’m going to focus on preventing a sneaky food safety hazard that can happen at many points between purchasing and eating food: cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs when juices from uncooked foods come in contact with safely cooked foods, or with other raw foods that don’t need to be cooked, like fruits and vegetables. The juices from some raw foods, like meats and seafood, can contain harmful bacteria that could make you and your family sick.

Secretary's Column: Food Safe Families

America has one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world. But even in this country, too many people get sick from the food they eat.

This year, one in six Americans will get food poisoning – that’s 48 million people. 128,000 will end up in the hospital. And 3,000 will die. These aren’t just statistics. These are real people, real families, impacted by the food they put on the table.