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Mom Would Not Be Pleased if You Forgot Mother’s Day…or Food Safety

Mother’s Day breakfast on a trayEven though Mother’s Day focuses on the women in our lives, it is a day for the entire family to celebrate. As individuals live longer it has become more common for some families to have three or even four generations of mothers to celebrate.  Foodborne pathogens can cause anyone in the family to become ill, but did you know pregnant women, children under five years of age, and older adults are at a higher risk?

  • Pregnant Women are 10 times more likely to get Listeriosis and 50% of Toxoplasmosis infections in the U.S. are acquired from food.  Both of these illnesses can affect mother and fetus.
  • Children under 5 years of age have the highest incidence rate of many food related infections.  Did you know 6 % of the general population with E. coli O157 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) – that rate increases to 15% for children under the age of 5.
  • Older Adults bodies will undergo natural changes that can leave them susceptible to foodborne illness.  It may also take them longer to recover from foodborne illness compared to other age demographics.

There are many ways that families celebrate on Mother’s Day. Below are a few ways to celebrate and keep the family safe with food.


When eating brunch at home, preparing homemade meat and deli salads may be less risky then purchasing them from a retailer. Enjoy pasteurized dairy and juices which can be safer alternatives to those that are unpasteurized.  If an egg dish is being served ensure it has been cooked to 160˚ F. Remember that food safety for young children is a team approach with parents and caregivers leading the way.  Safe food handling by parents and caregivers can help protect children and become a learned behavior for the children observing.

If you decide to celebrate by eating at a restaurant ask your server about food preparation. Make sure meat and poultry is cooked to the proper temperature, and if any raw items are included in meals you are considering.  If the server is unaware, don’t hesitate to ask for a chef to clarify.

Picnic Time!

If your family likes to enjoy the outdoors, a picnic can be a great way to enjoy Mother’s Day.  Rising temperatures during this time of year can also mean quicker growth of dangerous bacteria.  Make sure to keep cold foods below 40 °F. Perishable foods should never be left above 40 °F for more than two hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F.

Got Questions? Don’t Ask Mom, Ask Us!

If you’re constantly asking your mother about food safety, give her a break and call our Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) for food safety questions. The only question we can’t help you with is what you should get Mom for Mother’s Day, even our food safety experts can’t answer that for you.

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Posted in: Holidays | SeasonalTagged: Holiday