With the Thanksgiving Holiday this week, we are thinking of family, food, and football. Another item to consider is food safety. I have worked with Cooperative Extension for almost 25 years and we always receive questions in the office around the holidays regarding food preparation and food safety. In Union County, we are blessed to have a new Family & Consumer Science Agent, Marcus McFarland who can answer questions on food safety. You can reach him at 704-283-3801.
There are two reliable online resources available to consumers who have questions about food preparation or food safety.
The first is the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. As the name implies this hotline is dedicated to answering questions related to meat and poultry. The toll-free number is 888-674-6854. The Hotline is open year-round Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Eastern time. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day at their website.
The second is the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s FDA Food Safety website. This website is dedicated to answering general food safety questions. They also have a toll-free number, 888-723-3366. This Hotline is open year-round Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Eastern time.
Food safety is always important. One of the things my mother always said related to food safety was “if in doubt, throw it out.” Anytime I question whether a food product is still good, I hear her words in my head.
Be safe this holiday season and if you have questions contact an expert for help.