As the 4th of July approaches and a heatwave blankets the country, cases of foodborne illnesses are surging. For example:
- Incidents of food poisoning surge over the summer months because bacteria multiply faster when it’s warm.
- Americans spend $400 million on beef alone for July 4th barbeques.
- USDA research shows that one out of every four hamburgers turns brown before it has reached a safe internal temperature.
- New FDA research done in collaboration with USDA shows that only 23 percent of Americans who own a food thermometer actually use it when grilling hamburgers.
- 48 million Americans (at least one in six) will get sick from foodborne illness this year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
How can families avoid these serious public health threats during the July 4th holiday and summer months when they are at most risk? Just listen to the founding fathers and for more tips, got to FoodSafety.gov and check out the “Ask Karen” app.