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It’s National Food Safety Education Month! Chat with Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety on Twitter

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Most people reading this probably have heard the statistic by now that one in six Americans, or 48 million people, is expected to get sick from foodborne illness each year.  You also probably have a lot of questions about what federal public health agencies are doing to prevent those illnesses, and what precautions you can take to further protect yourself and your family.

The truth is, USDA has put a number of new policies into place to make meat, poultry, and processed egg products safer, and we’re using new technologies, such as our Ask Karen smartphone app, to better reach consumers. As part of National Food Safety Education Month, I’ll be hosting a Virtual Office Hours session on Twitter to answer questions about what USDA is doing to bring down rates of foodborne illness, as well as what you can do at home to keep your family safe.

Join me on Twitter this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and tag your questions with #AskUSDA. I will answer as many as I can in one hour from the @USDA Twitter account.

Some questions you may be wondering about could include:

How can I keep my family safe from foodborne illness?

What is USDA doing to bring down rates of E. coli and Salmonella illnesses?

If I discover a problem with my food, where can I report it?

How can I learn about products that have been recalled?

What should I do if I have a recalled product?

You can also use #AskUSDA to send your food safety questions early, and I will respond during the chat.

USDA Virtual Office Hours, a monthly live question and answer series, allows stakeholders to directly engage with USDA leadership and subject matter expertsthrough Twitter. September’s session is one of FSIS’s many efforts to apply cutting-edge science across the farm-to-table continuum and to enhance public education and outreach to improve food handling practices that can prevent foodborne illness. These goals are further outlined in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, which will guide the agency through September 2016 in ensuring that food produced under FSIS’s authority is safe for the American public. Its eight specific, measurable goals all support three interlocking strategic themes: Prevent Foodborne Illness, Understand and Influence the Farm-to-Table Continuum, and Empower People and Strengthen Infrastructure.

One Response to “It’s National Food Safety Education Month! Chat with Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety on Twitter”

  1. rwilymz says:

    48 million will get ill from “food-borne illness” … remember when it was called “food poisoning”? I wonder if the new terminology makes anything clearer or less annoying to endure? I kinda doubt it … and 3,000 people will die from it.

    If you do the math, that’s trivial. Food safety is not really that big of a concern in this country. Especially since the lion’s share of “food-borne illness” comes from germs we pick up from door knobs, shaking hands with folks who didn’t wash after using the toilet, money, other common public surfaces, and the like.

    Very little comes from food, cooking surfaces, utensils, etc.

    …at least that’s what the CDC says about it.

    CDC also says that 75,000,000 will get influenza each year, and of those 30,000 will die. A 75% increase in illness contraction, and a 1,000% increase in the death rate.

    Once again, we need a multi-billion dollar government program administered by a multi-billion bureaucrat government agency to scold us to wash our hands and to keep them away from our face.

    I wonder if that’s what the “FSIS” does?

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