What’s Lurking in Your Kitchen?

Amelia Kermis MPH CHES, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety Inspection Service, USDA

Food poisoning is a serious public health threat. CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) could suffer from food poisoning illness this year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Even if you’re lucky enough to not end up in the hospital, a night of food poisoning ranks at the top of most people’s worst memories. Happily, you can reduce the risk of foodborne illness by taking a few practical steps. So, how do your food safety smarts compare to your neighbors?

  • Salmonella: 91% of Americans know that raw chicken can have Salmonella germs, but only about half realize that raw produce can carry these germs!
    • Get Kanny: Treat raw meat, eggs, and produce with care. Thoroughly wash fruits and veggies, cook meat and eggs to a safe internal temperature.
  • Safe Handling: Only 3 out of 4 Americans properly store leftovers within two hours.
    • Get Kanny: Put any leftovers back in the fridge within two hours after preparation, and store large amounts of food in shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Thermometer use: Only about a third of Americans use a food thermometer to check the doneness of meat and poultry.
    • Get Kanny: Always use a thermometer, so that you can be sure that the cooked meat has reached a minimum internal temperature to ensure safety by killing any harmful bacteria!

This September, to celebrate Food Safety Education Month and help you get smart about your kitchen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will help get the word out about important food safety tips and tools to combat foodborne illnesses by hosting a free webinar series: “Food Safety 101.” 

Webinar: Food Safety Everyday Application

The series will be hosted by Food Safety Education Staff and will feature speakers from the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, USDA FSIS Office of Public Health Science, Kansas State University, and the International Food Information Council Foundation.

The webinars emphasize USDA’s four steps to food safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill and offer a unique opportunity to hear from FSIS’s educators, researchers and partners. Our next webinar is “Everyday Application” will occur on September 17th from noon to 1:30 pm EST. Participants will be able to identify how, as shown by research, most people in the U.S. are not being food safe and how to prevent foodborne illnesses.

The information offered in this webcast is valuable to everyone, especially healthcare workers, caregivers, health educators, public health professionals, and parents. Interested individuals can register for the webinar series here.  

Missed our previous segment or can’t make the 17th? The webinar series will be accessible on the UDSA FSIS website at a later date.