USDA: Top Five Food Safety Mistakes

Are your cooking habits up to par?

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently completed an interesting observational study in which participants in a test kitchen were recorded to see if they handled food safely while cooking. Here are the top five food safety mistakes that were recorded:

  1. Participants failed to successfully wash their hands 97% of the time they should have. Of the 1,195 recorded points when handwashing was necessary to control possible bacteria, these would-be cooks failed 1,150 times.
  2. 48% of participants cross-contaminated spice containers due to lack of handwashing.
  3. 5% of those in the study transferred bacteria to salads.
  4. 66% of the cooks didn’t use a food thermometer while preparing turkey burgers. Some used color and feel instead to determine if the burgers were safe to eat.
  5. When the participants did use a thermometer, 45% didn’t cook the turkey burger to the minimum safe internal temperature of 165º.

The good news is that the USDA has food safety help at

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