USDA offers food safety guidelines for consumers

Nov 17, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a 15-page set of guidelines for the public on food safety and security.

Titled "Food Safety and Food Security: What Consumers Need to Know," the booklet covers topics ranging from safe cooking temperatures and product recalls to spotting and reporting possible food tampering.

Dr. Garry L. McKee, director of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), said in a news release, "Our food safety professionals have condensed vitally important information covering many topics into a 15-page reference manual." McKee was to appear today at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting to discuss the guidelines, according to the release.

Besides providing tips on safe food handling and cooking, the booklet discusses how to keep food safe during emergencies and power failures, how long canned foods can be kept, and what foods to keep on hand for emergencies. The brochure also describes the FSIS's programs for preventing and responding to deliberate threats to the food supply.

The publication is the latest is a series of food security guidelines issued by the FSIS. In May 2002 the agency released guidelines to help plants that produce meat, poultry, and egg products find ways to strengthen their security. In August 2003 the agency published guidelines for keeping meat, poultry, and egg products secure during transportation and distribution.

See also:

USDA news release
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/news/2003/fssguides.htm

Full text of "Food Safety and Food Security: What Consumers Need to Know"
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/topics/foodsec_cons.pdf

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