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/

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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

INFOGRAPHIC ON CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO FOODBORNE ILLNESS

It is now Week 2 of National Food Safety Education Month.  The CDC has made an informative infographic available for download that provides areas to focus on to help minimize foodborne illness.  Other Food Safety resources are available as well at the following link:

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/publications/cf-infographic.html

Culture of Food Safety Quiz

The National Restaurant Association has provided a short Culture of Food Safety Quiz–in both English and Spanish– to test your food safety knowledge in recognition of Week 1 of Food Safety Education Month.  Downloadable posters for Week 1 –in both English and Spanish– are also available for your use.

Direct link for Week 1 quiz:  https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/National-Food-Safety-Month/NFSM-Docs/2017-NFSM-Activity-Week-1.aspx

Direct link for Week 1 posters: https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/National-Food-Safety-Month/NFSM-Docs/2017-NFSM-Poster-Week-1.aspx 

FDA MYTH BUSTER – FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH (WEEK 1)

MYTH: Only kids eat raw cookie dough and cake batter. If we just keep kids away from the raw products when adults are baking, there won’t be a problem!

FACT: Just a lick can make you sick! 
No one of any age should eat raw cookie dough or cake batter because it could contain germs that cause illness. Whether it’s pre-packaged or homemade, the heat from baking is required to kill germs that might be in the raw ingredients. The finished, baked, product is far safer – and tastes even better! So don’t do it! And remember, kids who eat raw cookie dough and cake batter are at greater risk of getting food poisoning than most adults are.