Food safety guide offered at USDA site

A comprehensive food safety guide titled the ?Kitchen Companion: Your Safe Food Handbook,? is available on the U.S. Department of Agricul?ture?s Web site: www.fsis.usda. gov/Factsheets/Kitchen_Companion.

The food safety guide explains foodborne illness and offers tips for shopping, storing and preparing food safely, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.

Updated information in the guide also includes a chart identifying potential contaminants and their likely hosts, answers frequently-asked food safety questions, identifies ?danger zones? when foods can be susceptible to contamination, and provides tips for choosing and using a meat thermometer to measure safe-to-eat temperatures, she said.

Topics in the food safety guide also detail transporting food to a holiday gathering, picnic or potluck and serving it safely, and planning, preparing, wrapping and mailing food as gifts, she said. Guidelines for packing a lunch safely also are included.

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