WINN-DIXIE AND FMI OFFERING CONSUMER MEAT SAFETY GUIDE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In time for the holiday season, Winn-Dixie Stores here and the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, announced they are releasing a brochure on how to safely handle meat, poultry and seafood.autions supermarkets take to keep perishables safe, but also warns shoppers to take care of their perishable purchases once they leave the supermarket. It also offers a brief description

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In time for the holiday season, Winn-Dixie Stores here and the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, announced they are releasing a brochure on how to safely handle meat, poultry and seafood.

autions supermarkets take to keep perishables safe, but also warns shoppers to take care of their perishable purchases once they leave the supermarket. It also offers a brief description of what causes food poisoning.

Three rules are stressed: Keep cold foods cold (34 to 40 degrees F) and keep hot foods hot (140 to 165 degrees F); never keep perishable foods at room temperature for longer than two hours, and keep a clean kitchen.

The brochure describes in detail what temperature freezers should be set at, how microwaves differ from conventional ovens and how to stuff poultry.

A food safety temperature guide illustrates for consumers what temperatures are safest for meat products and what temperatures are most dangerous.

The brochure also lists the toll-free number for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline.

Meanwhile, another toll-free hotline fields questions about how to safely handle meat products. Of the 10 most frequently asked questions on the Butterball Turkey Talk Line last year, three were related to food safety, according to Dorothy Jones, a home economist and supervisor who answers calls to the line.

Those safety questions related to handling the turkey safely, thawing it correctly and storing leftovers. Last year, 166,000 people called the toll-free number. Butterball Turkey Co., which is owned by Armour Swift-Eckrich, Downers Grove, Ill., has been operating the line 14 years, she said.

Jones said the toll-free line, which is based in Downers Grove, received nearly 15,000 calls in the first two weeks of November.

Jones said 46 home economists will answer calls through Dec. 23 this year. The week of Thanksgiving is the busiest, and each home economist is required to work on Thanksgiving Day.