Kroger partners with food safety hotline

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Submitted story June 26, 2009

The hotline, sponsored since 1985 by Ohio State's Food Industries Center, has had limited capacity to respond quickly to consumer questions. With new sponsorship from Kroger, it will be staffed daily by personnel from the Center for Innovative Food Technology and trained Ohio State students, supported by experts from the departments of Food Science & Technology and Human Nutrition. The hotline will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours, consumers can leave a message and phone number to get a response.

The hotline's expanded service began Monday in conjunction with Kroger's Food Safety Awareness Campaign.

The Kroger Food Safety Awareness Campaign focuses on the following concepts to keep consumers and their families safe:

Chill -- Refrigerate foods promptly and keep cold foods cold.

Clean -- Wash hands and preparation surfaces with warm water and soap.

Separate -- Keep fresh meat away from other foods to avoid spreading bacteria from one item to the next.

Cook -- Use a food thermometer to ensure food is cooked to the proper internal temperature. Cook ground beef and pork to 160 degree fahrenheit.

"Our Ohio State food safety hotline has been in continuous operation for more than two decades," said Ken Lee, director of Ohio State's Center for Food Safety and Security. "Public contact was mostly by word of mouth, but now we have the marketing capabilities of a major food retailer to help educate consumers."

Kroger also offers food safety messages and brochures in its stores, which includes a chart for safe cooking temperatures for meats and other foods.

"We are pleased to be able to offer factual information on food safety to consumers," said Valente Alvarez, director of Ohio State's Food Industries Center. "Sometimes people can get the wrong information and might be misled about proper food handling. The hotline will serve as a reliable, accurate source of information."

For information about preparing and handling food safety, call the Food Safety Hotline, 800-752-2751or visit



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