USDA warns spring celebrations can lead to illness from mishandled food

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Centers for Disease Control estimates that foodborne illnesses cause 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

The United States Department of Agriculture warns people that springtime cookouts, get-together's and picnics can be dangerous for spoiling food and sicknesses.

The USDA suggests people not leave perishable food out at room temperatures for more than two hours. At celebrations officials say you should make sure cold food is over ice and served in smaller portions and hot food stays in warming trays or slow cookers.

Of the other ways the USDA said that foodborne illnesses can cause problems they list several mishandlings of raw food. They urge people to cook with a food thermometer and check with its safe minimum internal temperatures chart to determine if food is safe to eat.

The USDA also urges people to use different cutting materials when working with raw food and ready-to-eat food. Officials also urge people to separate raw meat and poultry in plastic bags to prevent raw juices from dripping into other groceries.

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