Family and friends gather for outdoor celebrations during the summer, so the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends you to make sure that summer festivals are food safe.

Whether you’re baking burgers, camping, or having a picnic, everyone should always practice proper hand washing and remember to use a food thermometer.

After consumer behavior in the test kitchen reveals that people are skipping basic food safety practices, USDA is doing enough to reduce the risk of food-borne diseases for consumers. I am concerned that there is no such thing.

“According to our research, participants did not wash their hands thoroughly or use food thermometers,” said Sandra Eskin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. “Summer is a time to relax and enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family, but food poisoning bacteria never rest. By following safe food handling practices this season and all other seasons, you and you You can reduce the risk of getting sick for your loved ones. “

USDA encourages all Americans to follow these food safety tips this summer to eliminate food poisoning for you and your family.

wash hands

Inadequate hand washing is the cause of many illnesses, including food poisoning. It is important to follow proper hand washing steps before, during, and after preparing food to prevent bacteria from transferring from your hands to your diet.

A recent USDA consumer survey (January 2020-2021) showed that 56% of participants did not try to wash their hands while preparing their meals. This is a significant reduction in hand-washing attempts from research over the past few years. In the third year this number was 71% and in the second year it was 74%.

In addition to the few attempts to wash hands, about 95% of participants were unable to wash their hands properly. The most common reason for hand-washing failure studies was not rubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and not getting your hands wet as a first step.

Proper hand washing involves five steps: wetting your hands, lathering with soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds, rinsing and drying.

Use a food thermometer

Don’t forget to bring a food thermometer for your summer activities. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food to determine if it is safe to eat. For the most accurate temperature readings, insert the thermometer from the side of the thickest part of the meat. In this study, only 55% of participants used a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of cooking hamburgers and sausages. Use a food thermometer to ensure that the following foods have reached a safe internal temperature.

  • Beef, pork, mutton, veal steak, chops, roast: 145 F, 3 minutes break
  • Fish: 145 F
  • Egg dish: 160 F
  • Minced meat (beef, pork, mutton, veal): 160 F
  • All poultry (whole or ground): 165 F

Avoid mutual pollution

When preparing meals for this anniversary, try to keep raw meat separate from fruits and vegetables. Raw meat and poultry can carry bacteria that cause food poisoning. To reduce the risk of mutual contamination, USDA recommends using separate cutting boards. One for raw meat and chicken and the other for fruits and vegetables.

Infestation was widespread in this study. All participants:

  • 32% contaminated dishes and chopping boards while preparing meals.
  • 28% contaminated the kitchen sink.
  • 12% contaminated spice container.
  • 8% contaminated kitchen cupboard handles.

These findings are part of a multi-year mixed law study commissioned by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to assess the food handling behavior of various consumers. This study uses test kitchens, focus groups, and nationally representative surveys to better understand the experience of food safety practices and food recalls, food-borne diseases, and FSIS food safety resources. For more information on this study executive summary..

For more information on food safety, please call and email the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)). Or live chat at From 10 am to 6 pm Eastern Standard Time, Monday to Friday.