The month of September is a very transitional time of year for most. Kids are back in school, summer lingers on, while fall gradually appears. With a change in weather and holidays peaking around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what’s in store for the end of the year festivities. This means it’s time to start thinking about what other than, FOOD!
Produced in September of 1994 by the National Restaurant Association, National Food Safety Month was created in order to educate the public on the importance of food safety. Each year, roughly one out of six Americans get sick, 128,00 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. The following steps are preventative ways to avoid putting yourself or your family in danger of foodborne illnesses or poisoning.
How does food get contaminated?
- Insufficient cooking
- Food is cleaned/cooked with contaminated water
- Improper storage of leftovers
What you can do to prevent foodborne illness:
Wash Your Hands - If people washed their hands before and after preparing and handling food, a large percentage of food poison cases could be eliminated. Make sure to properly wash your hands before handling food, especially if it’s raw meat, as well as after preparing the food.
Think Twice About Washing Meat - Did you know there’s no real benefit to washing meat? According to recent studies, washing meat could allow cross contamination onto already cooked foods. It’s best to transfer uncooked meat onto a clean plate, cook it accordingly to proper temperatures, and ensure safe cooking temperatures with a thermometer.
Storage & Cleaning: Leftovers should be put away as soon as possible, not being left out for more than 2 hours. To ensure proper storage, use air tight, properly sealed containers. After cleaning up, make sure to disinfect counter tops and to regularly disinfect your freezer and refrigerator.