The Center for Disease Control estimates that foodborne diseases cause nearly 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths each year. September is National Food Safety Education Month.
I have found several research-based educational links that will help consumers protect their families from foodborne illnesses. Listed below are some of the websites, smart phone applications, youtube and facebook pages with research-based food safety educational information.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education is a not-profit organization that unites industry associations, professional societies in food science, nutrition and health, consumer groups, and the U.S. government to educate the public about safe food handling. The Partnership is the creator and steward of the Fight BAC! campaign, a food safety initiative that educates consumers about the four simple practices – clean, separate, cook and chill– that can help reduce their risk of foodborne illness. More about this can be found at http://www.fightbac.org/ or http://www.facebook.com/FightBAC.
For those people with smart phones a new application is available for Apple devices (iPhone and iPod touch) that helps protect consumers from bad leftovers. The “4-Day Throw Away” application, available now from the App Store at itunes.apple.com/app/leftovers/id427307538?mt=8, is an extension of the 4-Day Throw Away campaign (www.4daythrowaway.org/), which educates consumers about the dangers of foodborne illnesses and the four-day guideline for eating, freezing or throwing away leftovers.
The 4-Day Throw Away campaign, which features a 4 as its mascot, is educating consumers about the dangers of foodborne illnesses and the four-day guideline for eating, freezing or throwing away leftovers. It is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and is a partnership between Iowa State University Extension and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
The 4-day guideline is a great standard to follow if you are unsure whether a leftover food item is OK to eat or not. But some foods are OK to eat for longer periods of time, while some should actually be thrown out sooner.
Many consumers don’t realize how quickly food leftovers can become unsafe or spoil. The application, along with the rest of the campaign, is not only informing consumers about food leftovers, but helping them to practice safe leftover usage and food storage in their homes.
The “4-Day Throw Away” application features hundreds of individual food items which can be easily searched by food categories or keywords. Listed under each food item are storage recommendations, reheating instructions and special considerations. The application also gives information on related foodborne illnesses, with details on symptoms, duration, complications and prevention.
The “4-Day Throw Away” application can be downloaded from the App Store on your computer or device. For additional information about the 4-Day Throw Away campaign, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/4daythrowaway or view several videos on YouTube at youtube.com/4daythrowaway starring the giant, red 4 mascot.
Contact Sherri Halsell, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Clay County agent at 538-5042, for more information.
9/12/11-FightBac.org: The Partnership for Food Safety Education.
4/26/11-SK Sources: Julie Albrecht, Ph.D., professor, nutrition and health sciences.
Ruth Litchfield, Iowa State University Extension nutrition specialist.
iPhone.26 Writers: Christopher Weishaar, ISU Extension communications specialist.
Sandi Alswager Karstens, IANR News Service.
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Clay County or Sherri Halsell do not indorse any produces mentioned in the above article but only mentioned them as a new device that technology has created to help prevent foodborne illnesses other such devises may be available through other companies.