A recent study from the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service and North Carolina State University found some disturbing food-handling methods by American consumers. In a control group, the study found 66 percent of participants did not use a thermometer to check the temperature of ground turkey burgers. Out of the ones who did use a thermometer, only 54 percent of those burgers reached the safe internal cook temperature of 165 Fahrenheit. People also spread harmful bacteria from raw meat and poultry onto kitchen surfaces. When preparing meals, 48 percent of participants contaminated spice containers, 11 percent dirtied up refrigerator door handles and water faucet handles, and tainted five percent of the prepared chef salads. Millions of Americans are sickened with food poisoning each year with roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USDA recommends you thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds, separate raw meat, poultry and egg products from ready-to-eat foods, use a cooking thermometer, and chill leftovers within two hours of cooking.
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