The USDA’s Food and Safety and Inspection Service is urging everyone to take extra food safety precautions when planning the holiday menu. Cathy Isom tells us four ways to make sure our 4th of July picnic isn’t spoiled.
by Food Safety Education Staff
No matter where you find yourself on the Fourth of July, you will probably see lots of food, beverages and grass-stained sneakers. Whether you’re enjoying a barbecue in the great outdoors, traveling to see family or friends, or spending time at home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is urging everyone to take extra food safety precautions when planning their menu.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 Americans (that’s 48 million people) suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
“Because foodborne bacteria thrive and multiply more quickly in warmer temperatures, foodborne illness can spike during summer,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “This is likely because people are spending more time outside – away from the sink and equipment in the kitchen that help consumers keep food safe.”
The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F in which foodborne bacteria can grow rapidly to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Leaving perishables out too long in the Danger Zone is one of the most common mistakes people make, especially during warmer months.