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Wolf Administration Encourages Food Safety before Memorial Day Holiday and Summer Season

May 28, 2021

The Wolf Administration this week urged Pennsylvanians to take food safety precautions heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the summer season.

“With Memorial Day approaching and the summer event season kicking off, we must remember grilling and picnic food safety measures,” Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said in a statement. “As the weather gets warmer, foodborne germs are more abundant, yielding food poisoning. It is important to keep perishable foods refrigerated and properly handle raw meats.”

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in six Americans get sick from contaminated food each year, leading to about 3,000 preventable deaths and $15.6 billion in associated costs.

The CDC and the Department of Health offer the following tips for food safety this upcoming season:

  • When preparing food in advance, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in the refrigerator or freezer to cool it rapidly
  • After grilling meats, throw away marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill
  • At fairs, festivals, and other community events, be sure the vendor has a license to sell food and that employees wear gloves and use tongs when serving food. Bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes in case there aren’t any places to wash your hands
  • Raw oysters can contain harmful bacteria that can make you very sick, even if they look, smell, and taste like any other oyster
  • Never thaw foods on the counter. The safest way to thaw frozen food is in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave

“Preparing, storing and serving food safely can keep a celebration from turning into an emergency,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “As we gather around the table together again, enjoy the bounty of food Pennsylvania has to offer, and eat safely.”

HAP encourages everyone to follow these food safety practices and to have a healthy, happy holiday weekend. More information about the state’s food safety efforts is available online. To speak with a public health nurse, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.