Not sure just how long it’s safe to keep that potato salad out your summertime picnics?
Consumers can get immediate answers to food safety questions by calling Ohio State University Extension’s Food Safety Hotline at 1-800-752-2751 (toll-free in Ohio).
The hotline, sponsored since 1985 by Ohio State’s Food Industries Center, has had limited capacity to respond quickly to consumer questions. With new sponsorship from Kroger, it will be staffed daily by personnel from the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and trained Ohio State students, supported by experts from the departments of Food Science & Technology and Human Nutrition.
The hotline will be available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, consumers can leave a message and phone number to get a response.
According to Bruce Macaulay, president, The Kroger Co., Columbus Division, both Kroger and Ohio State share the goal of improving food safety awareness among Ohio consumers. The hotline’s expanded service began June 22 in conjunction with Kroger’s Food Safety Awareness Campaign.
“The hotline is a great opportunity for consumers to quickly gain the information they seek about food safety,” Macaulay said. “We feel it important to emphasize how to safely handle and prepare food ¬– and especially fresh meat – during the summer grilling and picnicking season when consumers may prepare and serve foods outdoors.”
The Kroger Food Safety Awareness Campaign focuses on the following concepts to keep consumers and their families safe:
• Chill – Refrigerate foods promptly and keep cold foods cold.
• Clean – Wash hands and preparation surfaces with warm water and soap.
• Separate – Keep fresh meat away from other foods to avoid spreading bacteria from one item to the next.
• Cook – Use a food thermometer to ensure food is cooked to the proper internal temperature. Cook ground beef and pork to 160 degrees F.
For more information about preparing and handling food safety, call the Food Safety Hotline - 1-800-752-2751 –or visit www.kroger.com.