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VDACS News Releases
July 1, 2021
Practice Food Safety This Fourth of July Weekend
Contact: Michael Wallace
Before lighting the grill this Fourth of July weekend, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages the public to practice food safety to keep the celebration free from illness-causing bacteria. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people get sick, with 128,000 hospitalized, each year from foodborne illness. Integrating key food safety steps into weekend cookout plans can provide everyone with a great and safe time this Fourth of July.
“Just because grilled meats appear cooked on the outside doesn’t mean they are completely done on the inside. Taking simple steps when preparing food, such as using a meat thermometer, helps ensure foods are safe to eat,” says Brad Copenhaver, VDACS Commissioner. “Enjoy celebrating our nation’s birthday this weekend by practicing food safety, especially when grilling, to protect your family and friends from food-borne illnesses.”
The first step of food safety is to stop the spread of bacteria around the kitchen. Before starting food preparation, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with a clean towel or disposable paper towel. Wash hands immediately after handling meats and poultry to avoid cross-contamination of other foods, spice containers or preparation surfaces. The following are USDA food safety recommendations:
For more food safety information, visit the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service at https://www.fsis.usda.gov, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888.MPHotline) Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, or send your question to Ask.USDA.gov.
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