08/05/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/05/2019 10:14
WASHINGTON, Aug. 05, 2019 - Summer is coming to an end and families across the country are trading in beach balls and roller blades for backpacks and notebooks. But back-to-school time is also followed by cold and flu season. Having the whole family follow some simple healthy behaviors can help them avoid all kinds of illnesses this time of year, including a topic we get lots of questions about: foodborne illness. Proper handwashing is the best thing you can do to stop the spread of germs and avoid getting your little ones sick.
'USDA research in collaboration with RTI International and NC State University has found that consumers are failing to properly wash their hands 97 percent of the time.' said Dr. Mindy Brashears, Deputy Under Secretary Food Safety. 'Washing hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness, including foodborne illness.'
Be sure that everyone follows these steps:
Parents and caregivers who are tasked with preparing lunch for themselves and their children, should be a good role model by showing children how to properly wash their hands. Wash your hands and cooking surfaces before and after handling food. It is not only important to have clean hands, but also make sure lunch boxes and coolers are clean before packing.
Lunch Packing Tips
Consumers can learn more about key food safety practices at Foodsafety.gov, by following @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter, and by liking Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov. Consumers with questions about food safety can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.