As Fall Approaches, Keep Food Safe From Germs

Recommendations from the Partnership for Food Safety Education

September is National Food Safety Education Month. The concept was developed by the Partnership for Food Safety Education (a non-profit organization with a mission to end foodborne infections in the U.S.) to create awareness about the importance of consumer food safety education in helping keep food safe.

According to CDC estimates, every year, 1 in 6 Americans become sick by eating contaminated food. The majority of foodborne illnesses and deaths are from noroviruses, and the pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli strains. Even though everyone in the global food supply chain, from farmers to retail distributors, have shared responsibility to keep food safe, consumers also play a major role in food safety.

With the aim to reduce foodborne illness risk, the Partnership for Food Safety Education develops and promotes trusted scientific behavioral-health messages, educational resources, and tools for pertinent levels of consumers, through an active network of about 13,000 health and food safety educators. Some of the key food safety initiatives launched by the organization are as follows:

The Core Four Practices –

These food safety practices are implemented to help in avoiding or reducing the survival, growth, and spread of bacteria on food products, equipment, or surfaces.

  1. CLEAN – Wash hands and surfaces properly, and at an appropriate frequency
  2. SEPARATE – Don’t cross-contaminate raw meat with produce or cooked food
  3. COOK – Heat food to a safe internal temperature to kill harmful germs
  4. CHILL – Refrigerate food quickly to 40° F or below to slow the growth of pathogens

The “Don’t WING IT” Campaign –

This consumer initiative is designed to promote safe poultry handling practices, which are necessary to reduce the risk of illnesses from commonly found germs like Salmonella and Campylobacter.

DON’T TOUCH: The key handling steps are –

  1. Place poultry in a plastic bag provided at the meat counter
  2. Keep poultry in the plastic bag when bringing it home
  3. Place poultry on the low fridge shelf to prevent leakage from contaminating other foods

CHECK TEMPERATURE:

  • Use a Food Thermometer to ensure poultry is cooked to at least 165° F
  • Store poultry at or below 40° F

“The Story of Your Dinner” Campaign –

To support the millions of Americans who cook and share meals with family and friends, the Partnership for Food Safety Education and sponsors have developed The Story of Your Dinner recipes (that also include food safety instructions), videos, children’s activities and food preparation tips to the consumers.

More information for consumers about Food Safety Education Month is available at: http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/food-safety-education-month/. The website also has offers other free resources for educators, evaluators, dieticians, teachers, and trainers.

Remco Products Corporation, your partners in hygiene, value the importance of food safety education. As a company, we provide specialized products and solutions for cleaning and material handling, along with a Knowledge Center packed full of food safety information. For more information, visit our website at: https://remcoproducts.com/.