How Safely Are You Preparing Your Frozen Food?

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Provided by USDA-FSIS

New research from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reveals that consumers may not know how to safely cook frozen foods, which can put families at risk of getting foodborne illness in their homes.

Consumers may not know that some frozen foods are not fully cooked or ready to eat, especially if they have browned breading, grill marks or other signs that normally show that a product has been cooked. In a recent FSIS observational study, 22 percent of participants said a not-ready-to-eat frozen chicken entrée was either cooked, partially cooked, or they weren’t sure that the product was in fact raw.

Among respondents of a separate, national survey who had experience with foodborne illnesses, 61 percent reported they did not make changes to how they handled food at home after being sick. That’s is concerning when you consider that more than half of survey respondents reported that someone in their home was considered at-risk for foodborne illness. These individuals — children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems — are unable to fight infection as effectively as others, so they can be susceptible to longer illness, hospitalization and even death from foodborne illness.

Links to the executive summary of the study can be found here.

Have questions? Need more food safety information? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MP-HOTLINE (1-888-674-6854) or chat live at ask.usda.gov from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish

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