CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers looking for ways to save money… Older adults, some with weakened immune systems, moving in with family members instead of long-term care facilities… Intense national focus on childhood obesity… These are just a few of the reasons Americans are returning to their kitchens and preparing more meals at home. Consequently, proper home food safety practices are more important than ever.
The federal government reports foodborne illness causes approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States, with a cost of $23 billion. Even more concerning, these occurrences could actually be significantly higher because of underreporting.
Today, the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods announced the renewal of the award-winning national program Home Food Safety, educating consumers about the serious health issue of foodborne illness in the home. Through information on homefoodsafety.org and a public awareness campaign, the program provides simple solutions so Americans can easily and safely handle food in every part of their kitchens, from the refrigerator to the microwave and from the oven to the countertop.
"Food safety is the top priority for ConAgra Foods and we're proud to continue our partnership with the American Dietetic Association to provide clear, useful food safety information that all consumers can use in their homes," said Al Bolles, Ph.D, executive vice president, Research, Quality & Innovation, ConAgra Foods. "We're committed to ensuring food safety when we make, store and transport our food, but our concern for food safety doesn't end there. We want consumers to know how to keep food safe once it's in their hands."
On the program's website, homefoodsafety.org, visitors will find information including interactive quizzes to test their food safety knowledge; downloadable tools such as calculators to determine the life of leftovers; up-to-the-minute food product recall information and updated seasonal tips for safe food handling in settings ranging from a backyard barbecue to a tailgate, and from a lunchbox to a holiday party.
Preventing foodborne illness in home kitchens begins with four simple tips:
- Wash hands often.
- Keep raw meats and ready-to-eat foods separate.
- Cook to proper temperatures.
- Refrigerate promptly to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
"Many people rely on how food looks, smells or tastes to decide if it is safe to eat, but foods can spoil or harbor dangerous bacteria long before noticeable signs appear," says registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Ruth Frechman, adding that through practicing these four easy tips they will become second nature. "Along with ConAgra Foods, we will continue to educate Americans about the four simple habits that will significantly reduce the risk of food-related illness for themselves and their families."
The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America's households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
SOURCE American Dietetic Association