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GCHD HIGHLIGHTS SEPTEMBER AS NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION MONTH

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Learn how to protect yourself, family from falling ill GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas – Each year, an estimated one in six Americans – that’s 48 million people – get sick from food poisoning. Anyone can get sick from food poisoning. The good news is there are ways to protect yourself and your family from falling ill. As you prepare and handle food, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests you follow these four tips: wash your hands, utensils and surfaces often when cooking; separate cooked food from raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, which can spread germs; use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to an internal temperature that kills germs; and refrigerate perishable foods and leftovers within two hours and chill within one hour if it’s above 90°F. September marks National Food Safety Education Month. Below are some areas to pay attention to when dining out. Look for a valid permit All properly permitted and inspected food service establishments are required to display their food service permit where customers can see it. The permit is bright yellow and contains the GCHD logo at the top and a seal at the bottom. Locate the permit and verify it’s not expired. “A permit confirms the establishment you’re visiting is in our system to be routinely inspected and that it has met proper safety requirements to prepare and serve food,” said Martin Entringer, GCHD consumer health services manager. Check inspection scores Most food service establishments are inspected at least twice annually based on criteria established in the Texas Food Establishment Rules. Low-risk facilities require one inspection per year. Inspections may occur more frequently based on an establishment’s risk level, violations and complaints. GCHD performs approximately 5,500 food service inspections annually. Inspection results, scored as demerits, are posted online at www.gchd.org/restaurantscores

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