Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures, soak up some rays and enjoy delicious homemade foods.
But, there are risks involved when choosing meals for your cookouts, barbecues and picnics. It’s always best to arm yourself with the facts before biting into that juicy hamburger or steak.
Many people assume that if a hamburger is brown in the middle, it is done. However, looking at the color and texture of food is not enough— you have to use a food thermometer to be sure! According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature. Meat and poultry should be cooked to a safe temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Color of meat and poultry is not a good indicator of safety.
Use a food thermometer to make sure meats have reached a safe minimum internal temperature. When a hamburger is cooked to 160 F, it is both safe and delicious! Want to know more? Check out this Safe Cooking Temperature Chart.
DID YOU KNOW?
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of families are not using a food thermometer regularly to check the temperature of meat and poultry and one-third (33 percent) are not using different or freshly cleaned cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination between different food products (such as raw meat and produce). Want to be sure your family is safe? Check out the “Is It Done Yet? brochure.
Food poisoning is not simply an upset stomach; it’s a serious public health threat in America. In fact, the CDC estimates that about 1 in 6 Americans (about 48 million people) could suffer from foodborne illness this year. The result is approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and sadly, an estimated 3,000 deaths!
Because warm weather events often present an opportunity for bacteria to thrive and high temperatures cause bacteria to multiply more rapidly, the summer months typically see a spike in reports of food borne illness and outbreaks.
Join our USDA 4th of July Twitter Party on June 30th at 1 PM EST using hashtag #FoodSafe4th. Hosts include: @martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety
Visit FoodSafety.gov to learn about best food safety practices, utilize “Ask Karen,” an online database with nearly 1,500 answers to specific questions related to preventing food borne illnesses, in both English and Spanish, or to call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.
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