Test Your Knowledge – Food Safety Education Month (Week 4)

As National Food Safety Education Month wraps up, test your knowledge regarding some of the information shared via our blog this month by taking a short quiz provided by our MPH intern, Danielle Pierre.  [The answers are provided at the end.]    If you have trouble answering any of them, scan back over our September posts for more information.

Best wishes—and always think Food Safety!

~Karen Gulley
Environmental Health County Manager
Center for Environmental Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health

Direct link to quiz:

https://ehfoodblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/food-safety-quiz-9-29-17.pdf

 

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WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO GET A FOODBORNE ILLNESS?

The CDC has posters available to remind us of the groups that are more likely to get a food borne illness (FBI).  These posters provide information that care givers and food safety workers can use to help prevent FBIs .  Follow this link for more content:  https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/education-month.html

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FOOD ALLERGEN AWARENESS – FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH (WEEK 4)

We now turn our attention to the importance of food allergen awareness during this final week of National Food Safety Education Month.  Although some reactions to allergens in food are mild, many are severe and can be life-threatening.  Whether you are a consumer or worker in a food service establishment, please check out the facts, posters, and other tools provided by FoodSafety.gov to assist you with food allergen awareness and response.

Direct link:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/allergens/

FIGHT BAC! HOME FOOD SAFETY MYTH BUSTERS – FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH (WEEK 3)

MYTH: Putting chicken in a colander and rinsing it with water will remove bacteria like Salmonella.

FACT: Rinsing chicken in a colander will not remove bacteria. In fact, it can spread raw chicken juices around your sink, onto your counter tops, and onto ready-to-eat foods. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry can only be killed when cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature, which for poultry is 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer. Save yourself the messiness of rinsing raw poultry.  It is not a safety step and can cause cross-contamination! Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food.

MYTH: I don’t need to clean the refrigerator produce bin because I only put fruit and vegetables in there. 

FACT: Naturally occurring bacteria in fresh fruits and vegetables can cause cross-contamination in your refrigerator. A recent NSF International study found that the refrigerator produce compartment was one of the “germiest” area in consumers’ kitchens. To prevent the buildup of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, it is essential to clean your produce bin and other bins in your refrigerator often with hot water and liquid soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a clean cloth towel or allow to air dry outside of the refrigerator.

MYTH: Once a hamburger turns brown in the middle, it is cooked to a safe internal temperature. 

FACT: You cannot use visual cues to determine whether food has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. The ONLY way to know that food has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature is to use a food thermometer. Ground meat should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F, as measured by a food thermometer.

For more FIGHT BAC myth busters regarding home food safety, go to http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/home-food-safety-mythbusters/top-10-myths/

A Safe Cooking Temperatures Reminder from the National Restaurant Association

During this 3rd week of National Food Safety Education Month, food service operators and consumers are reminded of the safe cooking temperatures required for foods that need to be time and temperature controlled in order to help protect against food borne illness.  Take a look at this short video from the National Restaurant Association as a reminder of the various categories of food and their respective cooking temperatures: 

Direct link to video: https://youtu.be/x7ujUPbMkNw

FDA MYTH BUSTER – FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH (WEEK 2)

MYTH: When kids cook it is usually “heat and eat” snacks and foods in the microwave. They don’t have to worry about food safety – the microwaves kill the germs!

FACT: Microwaves aren’t magic! 
It’s the heat the microwaves generate that kills the germs! Food cooked in a microwave needs to be heated to a safe internal temperature. Microwaves often heat food unevenly, leaving cold spots in food where germs can survive. Kids can use microwaves properly by carefully following package instructions. Even simple “heat and eat” snacks come with instructions that need to be followed to ensure a safe product. Use a food thermometer if the instructions tell you to!

GUIDANCE FOR DEALING WITH POWER OUTAGES AND WATER DAMAGE DURING EMERGENCIES

Some areas throughout Georgia are still without power and dealing with water damage as a result of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma.  Please be reminded that only food service operations with a previously approved Emergency Operations Plan are allowed to operate more than 2 hours without power or water per the Georgia Department of Public Health Food Service Rules and Regulations.  All other facilities must cease operation and contact the health department for further guidance.  [In Cobb: 770-435-7815  or Douglas: 770-920-7311]

For helpful information to assist the public in regard to keeping safe in emergency situations, especially in regard to power outages and flooding, please see the following links:

Food Safety:  

USDA:  Food Safety During Power Outages Infographic

CDPH:  Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety During Emergencies

 

Mold Clean-up and Removal:

YouTube:  Preventing Mold After a Disaster

Private Well Water Disinfection after Flooding:

EPA:  Wells – What to Do After the Flood

Septic Systems after Flooding:

EPA:  Septic Systems – What to Do After the Flood