Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Proper Food Handling

New Poll Reveals Knowledge Gap Among Public on Meat and Poultry Handling, Cooking and Safety

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new poll reveals a significant knowledge gap among the public about meat and poultry handling, cooking and safety.

Only a third (34 percent) of Americans correctly answered that a hamburger is ready to eat when the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees F. One in five said that checking the middle of the hamburger to ensure that it is brown is the best approach -- a practice experts say is not an accurate indicator that a burger is thoroughly cooked. Likewise, 18 percent wrongly said that checking to see if juices run clear ensures food safety.

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 Americans in May, found that many misconceptions remain, particularly when it comes to preparing and storing raw meat and poultry products.

AMI's survey found that men are much more likely than women to know how to identify when a hamburger is thoroughly cooked. While four in ten (41 percent) men know that the internal temperature of a hamburger must reach 160 degrees F before it can be consumed, only 26 percent of women knew this fact. Read More

Add this to your list of things that consumers need to learn about food. From the farm to the grocery store, everything can be handled perfectly but if the consumer doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain the system breaks down and a food borne illness can occur. There are many resources available for information on safe food handling procedures, including your department of agriculture and the extension service. Make sure that you are up to speed on proper procedures so that you can be a resource for consumers as well.

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