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Gov. Kelly proclaims September as Kansas Food Safety Education Month

Gov. Kelly proclaims September as Kansas Food Safety Education Month

Remembering four simple steps to handle food safely can help save your life or the life of a friend or family member. Clean. Separate. Cook. Chill. 

The federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases – or one in six Americans - of foodborne illness annually. These illnesses cause an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year. 

While September has been proclaimed National Food Safety Education Month, and Gov. Laura Kelly also has proclaimed September as Kansas Food Safety Education Month, it is important to follow safety tips year-round. 

Most healthy people will recover from a foodborne illness within a brief period of time. However, some people can develop chronic, severe and even life-threatening health problems. To keep you and others safe, follow these four simple steps from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Clean, separate, cook and chill. 

  • Clean: Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets. Wash cutting board, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water. With canned goods, remember to clean the lids before opening. 
  • Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods. Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water. Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first. 
  • Cook: Cook food to the right temperature. Color and texture are unreliable indicators of safety. Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood and egg products for all cooking methods. Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Only use recipes in which eggs are cooked or heated thoroughly. When cooking in a microwave oven, cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking.  
  • Chill: Refrigerate foods promptly. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and the freezer temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit or below. Never thaw food at room temperature, such as on the countertop. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or the microwave should be cooked immediately. 

For more information on safe food handling, visit https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/food-safety-education-month

Gov. Kelly was joined by Holly Steinlage, training coordinator for the Kansas State Department of Education’s Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW) team, and representatives from Kansas State University Research and Extension, Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Agriculture for the proclamation signing on Aug. 25 in the governor’s ceremonial office at the Kansas Capitol in Topeka. 

Posted: Aug 31, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: CNW

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