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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Food Safety Gateway: Information to Keep You Healthy

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 Cover of Food Safety Gateway
by Alfan Dangin, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

The holidays are here. Spend them with friends and family…not foodborne illness. (Foodborne illness is also called foodborne disease, food illness, and food poisoning.)

While you’re sitting there wondering if you’re going to get that Snuggies blanket you’ve been asking for, something else is going on. Something that can get you into trouble. Those deviled eggs, the same ones that have been sitting on the table unrefrigerated for the last 8 hours, are calling out to you, “Eat us, we’re tasty.” But don’t, because you may get sick if you do. Deviled eggs sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours can spoil (see http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html).

“Wow, I didn’t know that. I guess that explains why I got sick when I ate that turkey and mayo sandwich I left in my car on the hottest day of last summer. I wonder if there’s a place I can go to get more food safety information?”

You’re in luck. The White House and several federal agencies, including FDA, teamed up to create FoodSafety.gov, a gateway to food safety information. The website is a product of the Food Safety Working Group, which was created on March 14, 2009, by President Obama. As FDA’s focal point on food safety, the Office of Foods is a big contributor to the information on the website. FoodSafety.gov allows federal agencies to better communicate with the public about food safety and foodborne illness, and includes an alert system to inform the public when there’s a problem with a food. Blogs on the website cover topics ranging from food recalls, what to do with recalled food, and pet food.

“Pet food…really?”

Yep! Did you know that you should wash your hands before and after handling your pet’s food? Washing your hands before feeding your pet helps prevent you from passing bacteria on your hands to the pet food. And washing your hands after feeding your pet helps keep you from spreading any bacteria that may be on the pet food to other people or surfaces (see http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/treatfamily.html).

Go to http://www.FoodSafety.gov for more information on food safety and health and remember…

The holidays are about three things:
Spreading peace, joy, and love.
Keep you and your pets healthy
By checking out FoodSafety.gov.