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USDA’s tips to avoid foodborne illnesses

Staff Report | June 29, 2022 4:25 PM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a release on June 28 advising the public how to prevent foodborne illnesses.

“Wherever you go this summer, don’t forget to bring your safe food handling practices along for the adventure,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin. “As temperatures rise, the risk for foodborne illness does too. Always remember that whether you’re grilling for the Fourth of July, camping, or boating, you should wash your hands before and during food prep.”

The release states whether eating at home or outdoors at a park, sanitation is key to combat foodborne illness. Be sure to wash your hands and sanitize your cooking area before preparing food, the release states. Safe food handling practices also help to avoid cross-contamination. Summertime brings additional unique challenges to food safety because of the warmer temperatures. Be sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold this summer, and don’t forget a food thermometer.

The release goes on to give guidance on what temperatures people should keep their food between. It states that food is in the “Danger Zone” when it is in the temperature range of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If in the “Danger Zone” for too long, bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels.

The following foods are safe to eat once they’ve reached these internal temperatures:

  • Cook beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts to 145 F. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
  • Cook fish to 145 F.
  • Cook ground meats (beef, pork, lamb and veal) to 160 F.
  • Cook ground beef, pork, lamb and veal to 160 F.
  • Cook egg dishes to 160 F.
  • Cook poultry (whole or ground) to 165 F.

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