Consumers might not be aware of how to safely cook frozen foods. That’s according to a new study by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Frozen food sales around the country have skyrocketed during the last few months according to the American Frozen Food Institute.
Meredith Carothers is a USDA Food Safety expert. Carothers said that in a recent study on frozen food preparation they found that about a quarter of participants didn’t know they were preparing food wrong.
“That kind of told us is that maybe consumers are having a difficult time, properly identifying those products at times, which can be a concern, because those products really have to be close to the state’s internal temperature in order for them to be considered safe to eat,” said Carothers.
Carother said it can be easy to make this mistake because some frozen foods look like they are already fully cooked or ready to eat. For example—frozen vegetables.
“Not a lot of the participants were attempting to cook or heat the frozen corn products before using it in the cold salad, which is recommended and listed on the packaging is something that they should do,” said Carother. “So really, consumers are looking at the packaging, they are looking at the instructions, but not always fully being able to identify when it’s important to fully cooked product or when it might be raw or concern if it’s not fully cooked.”
For more info about safe food handling, visit www.FoodSafety.gov