Which Foods Make Americans Ill? Whether Chicken Or Salad, Food Safety At Home Is Key To Avoiding Illness, Says Academy of

Which Foods Make Americans Ill? Whether Chicken Or Salad, Food Safety At Home
     Is Key To Avoiding Illness, Says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --A new study analyzing
outbreaks of foodborne illness has found contaminated salad greens make the
most people sick, but contaminated poultry have resulted in the most deaths.
In light of this study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the
Home Food Safety program—a collaboration between the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics and ConAgra Foods—encourages Americans, rather than avoid certain
foods, to practice safe food handling at home instead.

"While this study found produce accounted for nearly half of food poisoning
illnesses, everyone should still eat plenty of fruits and vegetables," says
registered dietitian and Academy Spokesperson Rachel Begun.

"Safe food-handling procedures can help protect you from foodborne illnesses
while still allowing you to enjoy these tasty and nutritious foods."

"One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to wash your
hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water, especially when it comes
to the particularly nasty norovirus," Begun said. "The norovirus accounted for
46 percent of the illnesses according to this study, and while hand sanitizer
is great to reduce the spread of some germs, research shows us that soap and
water is best," she said.

Begun encouraged Americans to visit www.HomeFoodSafety.org for tips to reduce
the risk of food poisoning, and offered the following advice:

Produce

  oProperly wash all fresh fruits and vegetables, whether they have a peel or
    not, with cool tap water just before eating.
  oCut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating. Remove
    and discard outer leaves of lettuce.
  oDry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria
    that may be present.
  oCut all fruits and vegetables on a separate cutting board from raw meats
    and fish. Color-coded cutting boards can help you remember which is which.
  oCook raw sprouts, such as alfalfa and clover, to significantly reduce the
    risk of illness.

Meat and Poultry

  oWhen buying and handling meats, always look for the Safe Food Handling
    label on the package, and make sure the meat is tightly wrapped. At the
    grocery store, pick up the meat last and ask to have it bagged separately
    from other groceries to prevent cross-contamination.
  oStore meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator at 40 degrees
    Fahrenheit or below. Use fresh, raw chicken within one- to two days of
    purchase, meats within three to four days, and throw away ground meats,
    sausage and organ meats after two days. Cooked meats should be eaten or
    frozen within three to four days.
  oWash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat,
    and use a separate cutting board for raw meats and fish to avoid cross
    contamination.
  oDefrost meats in the refrigerator or in the microwave by using the defrost
    setting. Never defrost on the counter. Cook meat that has been thawed in
    the microwave immediately and do not re-freeze thawed meat.
  oUse a food thermometer to ensure meats are cooked to the safe minimum
    internal temperature. Find the correct temperature with the Is My Food
    Safe? app or the Safe Grilling Guide.

Learn more about food safety at www.HomeFoodSafety.org or by downloading the
free Is My Food Safe? app, and encourage children to wash hands properly with
the downloadable Hand Washing Maze.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods' Home Food Safety
program is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of
food poisoning and providing solutions for easily and safely handling food in
their own kitchens. More information can be found at www.homefoodsafety.org.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic
Association) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition
professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and
advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and
advocacy. To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Website: http://www.conagrafoods.com/
Website: http://www.eatright.org/
Contact: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn, +1-800-877-1600, ex. 4769, 4802,
media@eatright.org
 
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