Cross posted from the White House blog:
With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are thinking about the meals we’ll soon be sharing with family and friends. Whether it’s turkey and egg nog, or latkes, or a New Year’s buffet, food is always a central and cherished part of the festivities. Of course, we all know that a necessary ingredient for any meal is food safety.
When the President came into office, he said that “protecting the safety of our food and drugs is one of the most fundamental responsibilities government has.” He pledged to strengthen our food safety laws and to enhance the government’s food safety performance. Read more »
Yesterday, the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline joined celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffmann and FDA’s Howard Seltzer to answer Thanksgiving food safety questions via Twitter. With @FoodSafetygov selecting questions from the audience, the panel of experts was able to answer 22 questions in an hour using the handle @USDAFoodSafety. Now that the chat is over, people are still sharing the tips with their friends and followers, helping get these important messages into as many kitchens as possible before Thursday.
The Thanksgiving questions and answers covered in the chat are listed below. Take a look—you might have been wondering some of these yourself. If you need to know something that is not listed here, call the Meat and Poultry Hotline weekdays at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Read more »
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. Read more »
USDA is updating the definitions for poultry classes, such as broiler or roaster, which are based on the sex and age of the bird when harvested.
When cooking poultry, chefs know choosing the right bird will affect the outcome of a final dish. That’s why most recipes call for a fryer, roaster, or other class—terms based on the age and sex of the bird and printed on poultry labels. While breeding and raising practices have improved over the years, the definitions for these terms have remained roughly the same since the 1970’s. Read more »
National Preparedness Month is a good opportunity to reflect on progress towards ensuring the security of our Nation’s food supply. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers defense of the food and agriculture sector critical– all the way from farm to fork. Some animal or plant diseases could have drastic consequences on our economy – yet another reason it’s important that we continue our efforts to improve food and agricultural emergency preparedness and response.
You probably are familiar with many of the USDA agencies whose animal, plant and or food inspection programs have touched your life at some point whether traveling or simply buying meat or poultry sold in grocery stores.
For example, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) enhance agricultural security through numerous programs. These programs range from inspecting native and foreign agricultural products, to evaluating food system vulnerabilities, to maintaining laboratory networks that can rapidly identify diseases and pests. To illustrate, some of our efforts over the last year include: Read more »
Leanne Skelton, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Food Safety, FDA; Peter Furey, Executive Director, New Jersey Farm Bureau; Mike Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Office of Foods, FDA; Dora Hughes, Counselor for Public Health and Science Policy, Department of HHS; Sharon Natanblut, Director of Strategic Communications, Office of Foods, FDA; Ann Wright, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA; and Ronald Pace, District Director, New York District Office, FDA listen intently to farmer Bob Nolan from Deer Run Farm in Brookhaven, New York.
Recently I visited the Deer Run Farm in Brookhaven, New York on a tour of farms across the nation to talk face-to-face with producers and growers about produce safety. Farmer Bob Nolan from Deer Run Farm invited us to walk through his fields so he could share with us his thoughts and concerns about how the government will shape a new produce safety rule. Read more »