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Food Safety Focus Of World Health Day

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

April 09, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

FOOD SAFETY FOCUS OF WORLD HEALTH DAY

TALLAHASSEE—This week the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence recognize World Health Day as a chance to highlight the importance of food safety. The 2015 theme of World Health Day is "How Safe is Your Food?" and with the summer months approaching the department encourages Floridians to take the necessary precautions when eating and preparing food.

"Whether at a picnic or the dinner table, summertime in Florida is a great opportunity for families to share a healthy, fresh meal," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong. "As we encourage families to get outside and enjoy our state, we remind them to take the necessary steps for food preparation and storage to enjoy healthy meals safely."

The department recommends the following to reduce the risk of food contamination:

  • Clean. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces before and after food preparation, especially after preparing meat, poultry, eggs or seafood. Be sure to keep all countertops and work areas clean. As an extra precaution, use one tablespoon of unscented, liquid bleach for each gallon of water to sanitize washed utensils and surfaces.
  • Cook to Proper Temperature. Read the cooking directions on the packaging before preparing. The safest thawing method is in the refrigerator at 40 degrees. Cook food to the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a food thermometer.
  • Chill—Refrigerate Properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours. Make sure the refrigerator is set at no higher than 40 degrees and the freezer is set at 0 degrees.
  • Separate—Don't cross contaminate. Keep raw meats, poultry, eggs and seafood and their juices away from ready to eat food. It is recommended that leftovers be heated to 165 degrees. Leftovers that appear cloudy, mushy or have an unusual odor should be disposed of.

For more information on how to keep your family safe from foodborne-illness this summer, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

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The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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