The best defense against salmonellosis and other food-borne diseases is safe food handling. For 20 years, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been trying to get that message to consumers.
But changes in the food industry and Americans’ eating habits make the job challenging. An estimated 76 million cases of food poisoning occur each year in the United States; some 5,000 are fatal, according to the CDC.
To avoid infection at home, you know the drill: Wash hands and utensils after preparing raw meat. Put those hot-off-the-grill burgers onto a clean plate — not the one that held uncooked meat. Cook food thoroughly and serve hot food hot. Don’t thaw meat at room temperature. Scrub produce before slicing it.