Zombies, baseball, picnic and the government’s tips for surviving

A posting by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention went viral last week as people around the globe rushed to get instructions for surviving an attack by the living dead.

“There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency,” claimed the official government tip sheet on surviving disasters.

This weekend, Memorial Day will launch a summer of  cookouts, picnics and barbecues. Today, the USDA issued a baseball score card on how to safely “round-the-bases” so food poisoning and a trip to the emergency room won’t be the end result of your partying.

A tasty and safe picnic

“We want Americans to know that simple food safety steps can make cookouts and picnics worry-free for hosts,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen.

The pathogens that cause food poisoning are lurking at every picnic site and here’s a link to USDA’s detailed suggestions for staying safe. These are the highlights:

First base: Be Clean. First things first—make sure you start with clean surfaces and clean hands.

Second base: Separate. Raw meats and poultry should be prepared separately from vegetables and cooked foods. As you chop meats and veggies, be sure to use separate cutting boards.

Third base: Cook. Never begin grilling without your most important tool—a food thermometer. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.

Home Plate: Chill Out: Keeping food at a safe temperature is a must at outdoor picnics and cookouts – keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.



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