|August 12, 2002
FIRST LADY LURA LYNN RYAN
SPRINGFIELD, IL Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan kicked off Food Safety Education Month today by helping demonstrate proper food handling and preparation procedures for outdoor cooking.
Ryan was joined by Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, and Illinois Agriculture Director Joe Hampton at a "cookout" at the Illinois Department of Agriculture tent at the Illinois State Fair.
"One of the most important things we can do for our families is to give them wholesome, nutritious and safe food, " Ryan said. "With a little education, we can avoid many of the dangers of improper food handling."
Dr. Lumpkin demonstrated how to properly grill a hamburger, while giving other tips on outdoor food safety and stressing the important role consumers play in ensuring the safety of the food they eat.
"While sometimes harder to practice, the rules for cooking outdoors are the same as those for cooking in the kitchen: clean, separate, cook and store," Dr. Lumpkin said. "Wash your hands often, keep raw meats and other foods separate, make sure meat is cooked throughout, and keep cold food cold and hot food hot."
The Illinois Department of Agriculture tent features touch-screen kiosks that give tips on safe food preparation. The display demonstrates the results of food safety research conducted by the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research.
"Illinois produces safe and wholesome food, and our farmers and food processors constantly strive to improve their methods of production and to enhance food safety even further," Hampton said. "But they are only part of the food safety chain. Consumers also play an important role after their food is brought home from the grocery store. Proper handling and preparation can prevent almost every foodborne illness."
While at the Illinois State Fair, fairgoers are encouraged to visit the food safety display in the Department of Agriculture tent, where they can register for a chance to win a gas grill or beef and pork products.
The month of September is nationally designated as Food Safety Education Month and this year's theme is "Check It Out Before You Check It In." The theme emphasizes not only food safety, but also food security regarding the purchasing and receiving of food.
As part of Food Safety Education Month, an Illinois food safety symposium will be held Aug. 28 and 29 in St. Charles at the Pheasant Run Resort. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Agriculture, will include updates on current food safety and security issues.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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