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National Food Safety Education Month

By Staff | Sep 9, 2008

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Did you know that in the United States each year:

n 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur?

n more than 325,000 people are hospitalized for food borne illness?

n And 5,000 people will die from food-borne illness?

Food handling safety risks are more common than most people think.

Four easy steps-clean, separate, cook and chill-can help prevent harmful bacteria from making your family sick.

Clean: Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards before and after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.

Cook: Use a food thermometer- you can’t tell food is cooked safely by how it looks.

Chill: Chill leftovers and takeout foods within two hours and keep in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Cross contamination is how bacteria is spread. Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry and seafood and another for salads and ready to eat foods.

Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood and their juices apart from other food items in your grocery cart and bag.

Store raw meat, poultry and seafood in a container or on a plate so juices can’t drip on other foods.

For more information, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety or www.foodsafety.gov.