Food safety guides for groups most vulnerable to foodborne illness now available

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 5, 2012

News release: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have partnered to create six booklets with food safety advice for populations that are most susceptible to foodborne illness. The booklets in this “at-risk series” are tailored to help older adults, transplant recipients, pregnant women, and people with cancer, diabetes or HIV/AIDS reduce their risk for foodborne illness. Each of the booklets contains 24 pages of practical guidance on how to prevent foodborne illness. The information is presented in easy-to-read charts, illustrated how-tos, and straightforward descriptions of why each group is at higher risk for foodborne illness and symptoms that may mean trouble. The booklets contain three tear-out cards with quick-reference tips for grocery shopping, cooking to the right temperature, and eating at restaurants for times when taking along the entire booklet would be impractical. While booklets on five of these topics were previously produced in 2006, the two agencies this year created a sixth booklet for pregnant women, who are at particular risk for the illness listeriosis. The six new booklets list food safety resources, such as www.foodsafety.gov, that have been made available since the earlier copies were printed. They also include revised safe cooking temperatures for meat and poultry: 145 °F for whole cuts of meat, followed by a three-minute rest time; 160 °F for ground meats; and 165 °F for all poultry and leftovers. FSIS and FDA have mailed copies of the booklets to physicians around the country who treat patients in any of these six categories, and the booklets are available to the public free of charge. Additionally, the booklets are downloadable in PDF format at www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/risk/index.html.”

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