06 Apr The USDA has Expanded its Meat and Poultry Hotline Hours
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has recently expanded its meat and poultry hotline hours to help customers access food and safety information. Operating since 1985, the hotline answers consumers’ questions regarding the storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products. The new hours will be 10 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time. If you have a question outside of the hours of operation, you can consult Karen, a 24-hour online service that answers FAQ’s and enables you to email or live-chat with a specialist regarding your concerns.
In the wake of the recent Avian flu outbreaks across the US, food and animal safety has become increasingly important. With low pathogenic strains found in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, state governments have locked down on biosecurity measures, and poultry farmers have been forced to kill their flocks to reduce risks of spreading the disease. This greatly affects the industry, as trade has been limited, and poultry production provides a substantial number of jobs in poultry producing states. Georgia alone produces $25.9 billion in poultry, and the industry provides over 100,000 jobs in the state. With the help of the USDA’s new extended hotline hours, more people will be able to access the increasingly critical services, and educate themselves on the issues to help prevent future outbreaks, and reduce the spread of current ones (AJC).
If you have an issue regarding food safety, call the hotline at 1-888-674-6854.