“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 »
The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone has finished its spring 2012 tour, taking hands-on food safety lessons across the Southeast. Stopping in the smallest towns and big cities like Dallas, we were able to educate over 175,000 people on preventing foodborne illness. Real food safety experts who work in meat and poultry plants near each town—like veterinarians, investigators, and other FSIS personnel—came out to staff the events. FSIS Administrator Al Almanza even came to the last stop in San Antonio. Here are some of my favorite moments along the way: 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 »
In April of all months, “audit” is the last word most Americans want to hear but last month the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service was cheering because it passed a very meaningful audit by the Office of the Inspector General. According to the OIG, FSIS is appropriately managing meat and poultry slaughter establishments’ appeals of humane handling enforcement actions.
In December 2010, USDA’s Office of Food Safety proactively asked the OIG to determine whether FSIS addressed these types of appeals in a consistent, timely, and accurate manner. The OIG audit was extensive, covering humane handling appeals filed by the industry over a four-year period from January 2007 to December 2010. Not only did OIG publish positive findings; this is the second time in more than eight years that the OIG has published a final report for FSIS without any formal recommendations. Read more »
Dándoles la bienvenida a nuestro kiosko Somos Uno: We’re One USDA
Este sábado pasado, el Departamento de Agricultura (USDA por sus siglas en inglés) participó en la celebración del vigésimo aniversario del Festival Nacional del Cinco de Mayo® ¡Salud en Cinco de Mayo! patrocinado por la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC, por sus siglas en inglés) y la compañía de danza Maru Montero. USDA unió esfuerzos con LULAC, con quienes trabajamos en el reclutamiento de profesionales hispanos, en el tema de nutrición en la comunidad y a través de la iniciativa de la Primera Dama Let’s Move!
Al lado de otros representantes del gobierno federal, nuestro Subsecretario de Mercadeo y Programas Regulatorios Ed Avalos brindó palabras de bienvenida y resaltó un mensaje de herencia cultural y de salud durante esta celebración. Sam Kass, Chef de la Casa Blanca y Asesor de la Primera Dama en materia de alimentos saludables también estuvo presente. Read more »