Hurricane Sandy could bring wind, flooding, heavy rain and possibly snow to the East Coast, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service urges people to take steps now to ensure they have access to safe food. Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” also has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. Read more »
As Gulf Coast residents prepare for the possible landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) urges everyone to make food safety a part of their preparation efforts. Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
Storing perishable food at proper temperatures is crucial to food safety but can become difficult if you lose electricity for your refrigerator and freezer. For those living in Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected path, USDA recommends stocking up on canned food, bottled water, batteries, and dry ice.
The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” is available at www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Severe_Storms_and_Hurricanes_Guide.pdf to print and keep for reference during a power outage. : Florida residents can get timely food safety information on Twitter by following @FL_FSISAlert, Mississippi residents should follow @MS_FSISAlert, and Louisiana residents can follow @LA_FSISAlert. Read more »
If you’ve had food poisoning, you know it’s not something you want to experience again. But for “at-risk” individuals, it can be life threatening. People with cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, or an organ transplant—as well as healthy older adults and pregnant women—who have weakened immune systems are at increased risk for foodborne illness.
The safety of the food these groups eat is just as important as the medicines that help them regain or maintain their health. To help at-risk persons avoid food poisoning, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have collaborated to publish a series of five updated food safety booklets designed specifically to educate older adults, transplant recipients, and people with HIV/AIDS, cancer or diabetes. Read more »
“Ask Karen,” an online food safety question and answer service provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Food Safety Inspection Service is now mobile. “Ask Karen” provides 24/7 virtual assistance and tips on preventing food borne illness, safe food handling, storage and safe preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.
Last week the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Mobile Ask Karen app earned high-praise from Government Computer News (link will take you offsite). The publication gave a tip-of-the-hat to Mobile Ask Karen, ranking it as one of “The 10 best federal mobile apps.” Mobile Ask Karen was heralded as “a perfect example” and “the best of the bunch,” and was the only app to earn perfect scores in the categories of usefulness, ease of use, and coolness factor. Read more »
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service started its Fourth of July “party” a little early this year, hosting a bilingual Twitter party on June 28 to answer its tweeps’ food safety questions in advance of any gatherings they are hosting. “Ask Karen,” FSIS’ virtual food safety representative, and her Spanish-language counterpart “Pregúntele a Karen” answered questions from @USDAFoodSafety and @USDAFoodSafe_es about food safety around the Fourth of July holiday and summer in general. Read more »
Tips to prepare your burgers, chicken, and hot dogs safely
With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, people all over the country are stocking up on charcoal and filling their propane tanks in preparation for another cookout season. As Americans begin to focus on spending more time outdoors and grilling meals with family and friends, it is important to ensure that grillers are also taking the necessary steps to ensure food safety this season.
As you kick off the summer grilling season, keep your food safe by remembering these four steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Be sure that you start with clean surfaces and clean hands, and remember to separate raw meat and poultry from your veggies and cooked foods. Also, the most import tool you have at your grill is your food thermometer. Before you take your burgers, hot dogs or chicken off the grill, check the temperature (click here for temperature recommendations). Read more »