Fourth of July Food Safety Tips
Many Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July this year – a little differently – with backyard barbecues and picnics, and maybe only with their immediate households. As you are celebrating, FSIS encourages you to make food safety and other public health recommendations a part of your holiday weekend.
Follow these tips from USDA to ensure a food safe Fourth of July:
Always keep raw meat and their juices from touching other foods. While grilling, avoid using the same utensils that can come into contact with raw meat or poultry with ready-to-eat foods. Wash and sanitize all surfaces and utensils after they touch raw items. Bring enough tools to keep your raw meat and poultry away from any cooked or ready-to-eat foods and have extra cleaning and sanitizing supplies ready for your surfaces, plates and utensils.
Use a Food Thermometer
Some grill masters may say they know their food is done just by looking at its color when it comes off the grill. That’s not possible and shouldn’t be relied upon. This is where a food thermometer comes in.
The USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures are:
- Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F with a three-minute rest time
- Fish: 145°F
- Ground meats (beef, pork, lamb and veal): 160°F
- Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F
Keep Foods at a Safe Temperature
Perishable food items should not be left outside for more than two hours, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90°F. Keep your food at or below 40°F in coolers or containers with a cold source, such as ice or frozen gel packs. This includes any leftovers from the grill, cold salads and even cut fruits and vegetables. Leftovers should be refrigerated or placed back in the cooler within 2 hours of being placed outside (1 hour if temperatures are at or above 90°F). If you’re not sure how long food has been sitting out, throw it out immediately.
If you have questions about these tips, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live at ask.usda.gov from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Tips for Faster Label Approval Process
Labels are currently taking about 5-7 business days to evaluate.
TIP: To access the Label Submission and Approval System (LSAS) for the first time, individuals must complete a two-step process. First, the applicant must register for Level 2 eAuthentication credentials through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Once approved for level 2 eAuthentication access, the user must submit an FSIS Enrollment request to submit a label application for approval.
Although FSIS still accepts paper applications, the fastest way for establishments to obtain a label approval is by submitting their application electronically through LSAS. When submitting via LSAS, the application is instantly placed into the review queue. Once FSIS completes the review, the establishment is notified by email and can access the adjudicated label through the LSAS application.
The first step to accessing LSAS is completing the registration for a USDA Level 2 eAuthentication (eAuth) account. eAuth is the system used by USDA agencies to enable individual customers and employees to obtain accounts that will allow them to access USDA web applications and services via the internet. Information on obtaining a Level 2 eAuth account may be found on the USDA site at https://www.eauth.usda.gov/registration/index.aspx.
The second step to accessing LSAS is to submit an FSIS enrollment request. Guidance on how to submit an enrollment request can be found on the LSAS page.
FSIS will continue to provide updates regarding label turnaround time, as well as suggestions to assist industry to streamline label submissions in its Constituent Update.
FSIS notices and directives on public health and regulatory issues are available at their respective libraries. The following policy updates were recently issued:
FSIS Directive 10,010.2 – Verification Activities for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) in Raw Beef Products Rev. 1
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0020 – Notice of Request for Revision of an Approved Information Collection (Accreditation of Laboratories, Transactions, and Exemptions)
Docket No. FSIS-2020-0012 – Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations
FSIS Notice 35-20 – Preventing Heat-Stress Illness
FSIS Notice 34-20 – Group Retention Incentive For In-Plant Veterinary Medical Officers Public Health Veterinarians
Export Requirements Update
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated for the following country: