New USDA Research on Shopper Kitchen Conduct Underscores the Significance of Meals Security Training Month

Lack of Handwashing Continues to be a Concern

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2023 – The U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) is releasing throughout Meals Security Training Month the outcomes from the ultimate yr of a five-year examine that noticed how shoppers ready meals. The examine was produced by USDA’s Meals Security and Inspection Service (FSIS) as a part of their efforts to spotlight the significance of protected meals dealing with practices.

“These research are essential for USDA to grasp client behaviors within the kitchen and it’s well timed to be releasing the newest findings throughout Meals Security Training Month,” stated USDA Beneath Secretary for Meals Security Dr. Emilio Esteban. “The outcomes permit us to form meals security communications and assist shoppers safely put together meals.”

The examine noticed meals security behaviors, together with individuals’ thermometer use for floor pork sausage, handwashing, and cleansing and sanitizing of meals preparation surfaces.


As seen within the earlier 4 years of the examine, thorough handwashing stays a priority. The newest knowledge reveals that 87% of individuals self-reported they washed their palms earlier than beginning to cook dinner within the take a look at kitchen. Nonetheless, solely 44% of individuals have been noticed doing so earlier than meal preparation. Moreover, handwashing was not tried 83% of the time when it ought to have been completed (e.g., touching uncooked sausage and unwashed cantaloupe, cracking eggs, contaminated tools or surfaces). All through the examine, 96% of handwashing makes an attempt didn’t include all essential steps.

Thermometer Use

Within the examine, 50% of individuals used a meals thermometer to examine the doneness of the sausage patties. Nonetheless, 50% of these individuals didn’t examine all of the patties with a meals thermometer. You will need to examine all items of meals being cooked to make sure all have reached a protected inside temperature. Thickness and dimension of a meals merchandise may cause it to cook dinner to completely different temperatures.


The examine used a innocent tracer micro organism, which was injected into the pork sausage, to simulate the unfold of foodborne illness-causing micro organism throughout meal preparation. Among the many surfaces examined, the kitchen sink was most frequently contaminated, with 34% of individuals contaminating the sink throughout meal preparation. The subsequent highest was the cantaloupe, with 26% of individuals introducing contamination when reducing the cantaloupe throughout meal preparation. Contamination on vegetables and fruit, and different ready-to-eat meals, is very regarding as a result of these meals are consumed uncooked, with out a remaining step like cooking, which kill micro organism.

For extra meals security data, name the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), e-mail or chat dwell at from 10 a.m. to six p.m. Japanese Time, Monday by means of Friday.

Entry information releases and different data at USDA’s Meals Security and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) web site at Observe FSIS on Twitter at or in Spanish at:

USDA touches the lives of all Individuals every day in so many constructive methods. Within the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is reworking America’s meals system with a larger give attention to extra resilient native and regional meals manufacturing, fairer markets for all producers, making certain entry to protected, wholesome and nutritious meals in all communities, constructing new markets and streams of revenue for farmers and producers utilizing climate-smart meals and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clear power capabilities in rural America, and committing to fairness throughout the Division by eradicating systemic limitations and constructing a workforce extra consultant of America. To be taught extra, go to


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Author: ZeroToHero