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Food Safety Network Encourages Consumers to Think 'Food Safety'

by 5m Editor
24 December 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1675. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1675

The Head of the Food Safety Network is reminding consumers to keep in mind a few simple basics to get the most enjoyment from food during the holidays.

The University of Guelph's Food Safety Network provides research, commentary, policy evaluation and public information on food safety issues.

Scientific Director Dr. Doug Powell says there's been enough media coverage that food safety is more of a top of mind issue but the challenge is whether that information is being taken to heart and impacting behavior.

"When we talk about food safety we talk about a farm-to-fork system. It's important for consumers to practices things like cooking properly, chilling, not cross contaminating, using a meat thermometer but it's also important to recognize that everyone in that farm to fork system beginning on the farm, right through to the consumer has a responsibility to reduce risk. In most cases they are.

There's an awful lot of activity going on on the farm, in the processing plants, at retail and consumers are showing enhanced behavior as well. There are a number of risks.

The basics again, if you're cooking a turkey, use a meat thermometer. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables are certainly a growing source of food borne illness and we have to be careful.

We have to source food from safe sources. The large retail chains have good programs in place, so do some of the small ones. Just make sure that you know where your food's coming from and what they do to protect it and then carry that through in your own kitchen."

Dr. Powell says it's the holidays and we're not thinking about how we can make our guests sick, we're thinking about how we can enjoy food and have a good time.

He says, with a few basic steps all along the chain, we can do that. The Food Safety Network can be accessed at 1 866 503-7638 or at www.foodsafetynetwork.ca

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor