By: Mary Rooks and Angela Boadu Date: 9/23/10
To commemorate National Food Safety Education Month, IFIC and the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA joined together to bring USDA food safety mascots, Thermy™ and Bac!® to Farragut Park in Washington, DC on Tuesday, September 21. This year’s theme is “Serve Your Fare with Extra Care” and is targeted towards high-risk populations including pregnant women, older adults, infants and young children, and those with compromised immune systems,. Thermy™ and Bac!® were a big hit as they interacted with people and created interest and excitement from the lunchtime crowd. Bac!® reminds everyone to Fight Bac!® and to Be Food Safe: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill to prevent food borne illnesses when preparing and storing foods. As a part of that message Thermy™ is a meat thermometer which reminds everyone that “It’s Safe To Bite When The Temperature Is Right” by cooking foods to the proper temperature.
Almost 200 bags containing refrigerator thermometers, magnets reminding the public to visit the website http://www.isitdoneyet.gov, pencils, and food safety information were given out to a lunch time crowd in the park. Food safety experts were on hand to answer questions from the public. Food safety is a shared responsibility and that includes you! People in the park were enthusiastic to receive the information and were excited to share the information with family members, friends and coworkers. One person from crowd commented, “Thanks, I’m so glad I know now that the internal temperature for my refrigerator must be set to 40° F”.
The day was a success beyond expectations. Thermy™, Bac!® and the wealth of information were well received by the park visitors. Stay tuned for future events which will continue to raise awareness about the importance of food safety. In the meantime, you can always visit the USDA website for more information concerning food safety.