Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hello again from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Hello again from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

It’s the start of the new school year, which means new teachers, homework assignments and, for parents and caregivers, the dilemma of how to prepare a healthy and safe school lunch. Handwashing is the first and easiest step in preparing a safe packed lunch. But a recent study conducted by FSIS in collaboration with North Carolina State University and RTI International found that participants failed to wash their hands properly 97 percent of the time. This poor hand hygiene caused bacterial cross-contamination to items around the kitchen, including spice containers, refrigerator handles, ready-to-eat foods and other surface areas. This back-to-school season, help students, teachers, parents and caregivers in your community learn how to practice good hand hygiene, avoid cross-contamination and prepare safe lunches with FSIS’ back-to-school food safety toolkit.

Is your community prepared for severe weather? Thunderstorms, heavy rains, hurricanes and winter weather can all cause power outages and flooding, which can raise food safety questions, like “How can I best prepare my refrigerator and freezer in advance of a storm?” and “How long will my perishable foods stay safe if the power goes out?”

FSIS has emergency preparedness resources here, which you can use in outreach efforts in your community. Our most popular and comprehensive severe weather publication is the Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes. You can print this publication or request free copies by emailing us at

We’ve also got a handy infographic in English and Spanish about what consumers should do to protect themselves from foodborne illnesses before, during and after a severe storm. And we have shortened versions of those infographics on our Flickr page, which are perfect for use in your social media messages throughout severe weather events.

You are receiving this email because your contract information was listed on your community’s webpage about food safety outreach. These emails aim to update you on what’s going on at FSIS and connect you with the resources you need for food safety outreach efforts in your community. If you do not wish to receive future emails, please let us know.

FSIS Outreach Team