Uh, oh! Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You bought a turkey on sale last year and froze it. You know it’s safe because you recently read that frozen turkeys are safe indefinitely and keep good quality for a year. But what you don’t know is how or when to thaw it.
First of all, turkey should never be thawed on the counter or in hot water. These methods are NOT considered safe and may lead to foodborne illness. Also, never thaw a turkey in a garage, basement, car, on the kitchen counter, outdoors or on the porch. Turkey, as any perishable food, must be kept at a safe temperature during “the big thaw.” If not, once the turkey begins to thaw and becomes warmer than 40 °F, bacteria present before freezing can begin to multiply. Read more »
Uh, oh! El Día de Acción de Gracias está a la vuelta de la esquina. Usted compró un pavo en venta el año pasado y lo congeló. Usted sabe que está inocuo debido a que recientemente leyó que era seguro indefinidamente y que mantiene su calidad por un año. Pero lo que usted no sabe es cómo y dónde descongelarlo.
Primero que todo, el pavo no debe ser descongelado en las encimeras o en agua caliente. Estos métodos NO son considerados seguros y pudieran provocar enfermedades transmitidas por los alimentos. En adición, nunca descongele el pavo en el garaje, sótano, auto, en exteriores o en el balcón. El pavo, así como cualquier alimento perecedero, debe mantenerse a temperaturas inocuas durante “la gran descongelación”. Sino, en cuanto el pavo comience a descongelarse a temperaturas mayores a 40*F, las bacterias presentes antes de la congelación pueden comenzar a multiplicarse. Read more »
The People's Garden Harvest Festival poster. Click to enlarge for larger version.
You’re invited to the USDA Harvest Festival on Friday, November 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come celebrate the end of the growing season in the People’s Garden and at the USDA Farmers Market. Take advantage of the last opportunity of the year to shop the outdoor USDA Farmers Market located along 12th Street, SW in between Jefferson Drive and Independence Avenue in Washington, DC.
The day will be filled with fun activities and educational demonstrations that are free and fun for the whole family. Here’s a list of the planned events: Read more »
The recent multistate outbreak of Salmonella has served as yet another reminder of the importance of a modern, effective food safety system in the United States. That’s why USDA has undertaken a comprehensive effort to modernize poultry slaughter inspection in ways that will reduce the risk for American families.
A recent story in the Washington Post shared claims by some that this new effort would compromise humane handling. The fact is, this proposal will better position our inspectors to ensure humane handling standards are being met – all while protecting American families from illness caused by Salmonella and Campylobacter. Read more »
In response to a recent report about chicken served in the National School Lunch Program, I wanted to provide some clarification. Food safety is one of our highest priorities, and USDA is committed to ensuring that food served through the National School Lunch Program is both healthy and safe.
Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program receive some of their foods through the USDA, and the rest is purchased on the commercial market. USDA is only involved in the purchases that are made through our program, and all of the food provided through USDA is 100 percent domestically grown and produced. Read more »
On August 30th, FSIS announced the results of our verification audit of China’s poultry processing inspection system, which reaffirmed the equivalence of China’s poultry processing system. This determination was made after a long and careful review by our expert auditors to ensure that China’s system for processed poultry meets the United States’ safety standards. FSIS’ core mission is food safety and our staff works hard and diligently to ensure that the U.S. food supply remains safe. Since the announcement of the audit results, our agency has received several inquires regarding this determination so I want to take the time to explain this process and clarify any misperceptions.
Let me start with explaining what this “equivalence” determination means. If a country wants to export FSIS regulated product to the United States, as a regulatory agency, we are required to review this request and conduct an audit to determine if their food safety system meets U.S. standards. The process for determining China’s equivalence began in 2004, when China submitted a formal request to FSIS that the agency evaluate China’s poultry system to assess it equivalence and thus its eligibility to export poultry products to the United States. After an extensive audit, FSIS granted China “equivalence” for processed poultry in 2006 which meant that China was eligible to export cooked chicken to the U.S. as long as the raw poultry was from an approved source. FSIS began rulemaking and published a final rule in the Federal Register, adding China to the list of countries eligible to export cooked poultry to the United States. However, the 2008 appropriations bill prohibited FSIS from using funding to implement the final rule that allowed China to export processed chicken. In 2010, the appropriations ban was lifted and China submitted a new request for an equivalence audit. Read more »