Memorial Day is here which marks the beginning of the summer season for road trips, camping, and outdoor gatherings centered around food.

Indeed, the perfect time to make some memories in the great outdoors but it’s important to remember improperly prepared or mishandled foods can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria that causes foodborne illnesses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has food safety tips to ensure that the foods you share with your friends and family keep everyone in safe.

A recent Consumer Research conducted by the FSIS partnered with RTI surveyed consumers about their food safety practices and experiences with food recalls, foodborne illness, and FSIS food safety resources. The purpose of the study was to evaluate consumer food handling behaviors in a test kitchen – The findings raise concerns regarding proper consumer food handling practices Unfortunately, rates of foodborne illness tend to increase during the summer months. Therefore, USDA encourages all Americans to follow food safety tips to keep you and your family foodborne illness free this season.

Here are the USDA’s top tips to keep you and your family foodborne illness free this summer:

· Safe food tips for outdoor activities: picnics, grilling, hiking, and camping with family and friends.

· The Four Safety Tips:  Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill

· Online Tools and Food Safety Tips for Parents and Families: Where to go to get answers about food safety, including, the Meat and Poultry Hotline and the FoodKeeper mobile application.

Anyone with questions about food storage or food poisoning can speak with USDA food safety experts – call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)

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