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5 Tips to Avoid Foodborne Illness as Beef Consumption Spikes over July 4

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The Food Safe Families campaign has released an infographic to help celebrators stay safe on the Fourth.

New York, NY - July 2, 2014 - Did you know U.S. beef sales are highest during the week of July 4 at $400 million? While the warmer conditions may be ideal for outdoor picnics and BBQs, the summer months see a spike in foodborne illnesses due to warmer conditions. Nothing ruins a holiday weekend like food poisoning. 
Below is an infographic created by the Food Safe Families campaign – an initiative on behalf of the Ad Council, USDA, FDA and CDC – that highlights six tips for safe summer entertaining as well as statistics on foodborne illnesses, including:
  • 1 in 6: Americans get food poisoning each year.
  • 128,000: People are hospitalized for foodborne illnesses annually.
  • 25%: Increase in beef sales for July 4 vs. an average week.
5 Basic Tips for Safe Summer Entertaining:
  • HOW TO CLEAN AND WASH (EVEN IF YOU PLAN TO PEEL): Clean surfaces, utensils and hands with soap and water. If you are going to a picnic, bring moist towelettes. Wash all produce under plain running water before eating, cutting or cooking.
  • USE SEPARATE PLATES AND UTENSILS: When grilling, keep separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat, as well as ready-to-eat foods such as raw vegetables.
  • BEWARE OF BROWN BURGERS: Just because your burger is brown and not pink does not mean it is safe to eat. Always use a food thermometer; this is the safest way to know if your food is cooked to a safe temperature. For example, a burger should be 160 degrees farenheight, chicken cooked to 165 degrees, sausage 160 degrees and steaks to 145 degrees with three minutes resting time.
  • CHILL RAW FOOD PROMPTLY: If after you pick up the meat from the butcher you decide you need to pick up your dry cleaning, you may be at risk. It is advisable to freeze raw food promptly if you are not going to cook it right away.
  • DON’T LEAVE FOOD OUT FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS: If planning a picnic, perishable food should be kept in an insulated cooler packed with ice or ice packs.
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