Commissioner Nikki Fried Shares Outdoor Food Safety Tips Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend / Press Releases 2022 / Press Releases / News & Events / Home

Tallahassee, Florida. – As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida Department of Agriculture and Human Services (FDAX) Food Safety Division are reminding Florida residents of important food-handling practices to ensure that outdoor activities are as safe as possible this weekend and throughout the summer months.

“Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to fire up the grill and gather with friends and family to enjoy Florida’s beautiful scenery. Nothing ruins cooking or vacation like easily preventable foodborne illness.” said the commissioner Fried. “Simple recommendations, like washing your hands or using a food thermometer, can greatly reduce the chance that you and your loved ones will get sick. Let’s make the most of this summer by following these simple steps at your next outdoor gathering.”

Foodborne illness prevention tips:

Consumer Research USDA (USDA) found that many Americans are skipping basic steps to protect themselves from foodborne illness. The FDACS and USDA recommend the following tips to stay safe this summer.

  • Wash your hands. Poor handwashing not only leads to foodborne illness, but can also contribute to the spread of many other diseases such as Covid. In a recent USDA study, 56% of participants did not attempt to wash their hands while preparing food. In addition, of those who washed their hands, 95% of the participants did not do so properly. The most common problem? No washing for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you follow the five steps of proper handwashing: wet your hands, lather with soap, rub for 20 seconds, rinse and dry.
  • Don’t forget your food thermometer. Most people know that cooking food to the proper core temperature reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Unfortunately, only 55% of participants used a food thermometer when grilling. The only way to guarantee the correct temperature is to measure it. Verify that the following internal temperatures have been reached:
    • Beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks: 145 F
    • Fish: 145 F
    • Egg dishes: 160 F
    • Minced meat (beef, pork, lamb and veal): 160 F
    • Poultry (whole or ground): 165 F
  • Limit the possibility of cross contamination. Most of the pathogenic bacteria found in raw meat and poultry are easily removed by high heat, but it is important to ensure that the bacteria do not spread to other foods that can be eaten raw or at lower internal temperatures. In the most recent USDA study, it was found that a third of participants soiled plates and cutting boards during food preparation. The safest course of action is to use separate cutting boards for meat and always wash your hands before touching other utensils or food.

Additional resources on food safety during the summer, including a cooler[ ] and grill[ application/pdf ] for safety precautions, visit the FDACS Food Safety Division.

Background: FDACS Food Safety Division Responsible for providing safe and healthy foods to the people of Florida by inspecting, authorizing, and testing foods sold or manufactured in Florida. The division controls food from farm to processing, oversees distribution through retail to consumers, and enforces food safety laws. The division also issues permits for all food businesses in Florida that sell direct to customers, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, coffee shops, bakeries, meat and seafood markets, juice and smoothie bars, ice and water vending machines, and more. .


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