September 23, 2020
Arlington, VA – A September 23, 2020, press release issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shares research that consumers may not know how to safely cook frozen foods.
The release and research underscore the ongoing need for consumer education about food safety and how to cook frozen foods. American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) President and CEO Alison Bodor comments on the findings:
“Consumers should feel confident in turning to frozen foods as convenient, safe and delicious options to feed their families as Dr. Mindy Brashears, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, reinforces.
“While frozen foods are low risk as it relates to the potential for causing foodborne illness, we agree with USDA’s findings that there is room for more consumer education about food safety. USDA’s report underscores AFFI’s priority on ensuring consumers understand most frozen foods are intended to be cooked and that the safest way to consume any food is to carefully follow the manufacturers’ package cooking instructions, even if a recipe says otherwise.
“AFFI has long worked to support the industry in helping consumers understand the need to read and follow frozen food cooking instructions. AFFI’s Food Safety Zone, AFFIFoodSafety.org, is an example of how the industry is raising the bar on food safety practices. In addition, AFFI creates resources and collaborates on educational strategies that effectively bring food safety messages to consumer audiences, such as our work with the Partnership for Food Safety Education in reminding consumers of the “Core Four” basics of safe food handling: clean, separate, cook and chill.
USDA’s latest consumer food safety research findings are part of a multi-year, mixed-method study that the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) commissioned to evaluate various consumer food handling behaviors. AFFI welcomes the opportunity to explore additional public and private partnerships to provide consistent and clear food safety education strategies that ultimately lead to further change in consumer behavior.”
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is the member-driven national trade association that advances the interests of all segments of the frozen food and beverage industry. AFFI works to advance food safety and advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf to create an environment where members’ foods and beverages are proudly chosen to meet the needs of a changing world.