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2015 Food Safety Year in Review

The year 2015 resting on a bed of snow.

As 2015 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our food safety activities from the past year. From Super Bowl snacking to summertime grilling, food often brings people together. And food safety plays a large role in keeping families across America safe from foodborne illness.

Here is a look at some of the highlights from 2015.

FoodKeeper App

In April, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute and Cornell University, launched the FoodKeeper app as a contribution to the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. The FoodKeeper offers storage guidance on more than 400 different food and beverage items, helping users to maximize their food’s shelf life with proper storage time and temperature.  The app is free and is available for Android and Apple devices.

FDA 50 State Tour

On April 7, FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition set out on a 50 State Food Safety Twitter Tour to highlight the amazing food safety efforts across each state. Using #50StateFS, @FDAFood engaged each state’s Departments of Health and Agriculture to learn more about their efforts to prevent foodborne illness and implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act. More than 160 tweets were shared during the four months “on the road.”

Anniversary of USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline

July 1st marked the 30th anniversary of USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline, which keeps the public safe from foodborne illness by answering calls, emails, and chats about a wide range of food safety topics. Forgot the safe internal cooking temperature for that turkey you’re roasting? Think you need to report a recall? The hotline has answered questions like these since 1985. In fact, hotline staff has answered more than 3 million inquiries from the public since its inception in 1985. Now that’s a job well done (pun intended)!

CDC Vital Signs Report on Food Safety

Multistate outbreaks cause 56% of deaths in all reported foodborne outbreaks, and an average of 24 multistate outbreaks are reported each year. On November 3, CDC released a Vital Signs report on stopping multistate foodborne outbreaks. The report recommended that local, state, and national health agencies work closely with food industries to understand how their foods are produced and distributed to speed up outbreak investigations. This collaboration between the food industry and government can help stop foodborne outbreaks and make food safer.

FSMA Rules on Food Safety

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011, but a lot of progress has been made since then. During 2015, FDA announced groundbreaking final rules that will require human and animal food processors, produce farmers and food importers take steps to prevent food safety problems, and released a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the rule’s provisions. See what else has been going on in 2015 to implement FSMA and keep our food supply safe.

Holiday Food Safety Twitter Chat

We all reveled in the holiday spirit this year by participating in a Holiday Food Safety Twitter Chat hosted by CDC. The #CDCFoodChat focused on safe food handling when preparing and cooking holiday meals, keeping food safe during holiday gatherings, and learning about risky foods that people may eat during the holiday season. Almost 1,000 Twitter users joined in the chat. Missed it? You can catch up on Storify or download the graphics.

We wish you a safe and happy new year filled with hand washing, clean refrigerators, fully-cooked meats, and proper food storage. For more tips in 2016, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Posted in: Events | Holidays | SeasonalTagged: Holiday