Foodborne illness has made many headlines in the past few years that should be taken seriously. Every year around 1 out 6 Americans get sick from food borne illness. People who are more at risk for getting a fooodborne illness are pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, including people with chronic diseases like HIV, diabetes, and kidney disease. But even if you aren’t one of these groups, food safety should still be a top concern for consumers.
The responsiblity of food safety doesn’t completely rely on farmers, food manufacturers, and supermarkets. As consumers, we have the responsiblity of keeping our food safe as we shop and take it home to prepare and eat it. To drive my point home, I have prepared a slide show for you, “Supermarket Safe: Consumer Food Safety Tips at the Grocery Store, ” to give you some helpful tips in keeping your food and family safe as you shop. This is followed by easy home food safety tips and some helpful resources to download to keep you and your family safe.
Keeping your food safe at home is equally important. The American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods have a website, http://www.homefoodsafety.org, that has valuable downloads for use in your home. A food storage chart and refrigerator calculator are available for you to print out and post on your fridge. Also try these quick and easy tips for food safety at home courtesy of homefoodsafety.org and Supermarket Nutrition 411.
1. Wash your hands often.
2. Put your groceries away promptly to maintain “food safe” temperatures, below 40 degrees F.
3. Keep raw foods and ready to eat foods separate.
4. Use separate cutting boards for meat and produce.
5. Wash your fresh fruits and vegetables well.
6. Cook foods to proper temperatures.