Getting Ready for a Food Safe Fourth

USDA hosted a Twitter party June 30 to share tips and answer questions about food safety during summertime activities such as camping, picnics, and grilling.

AAA Travel released a projection last week that 41 million Americans will journey at least 50 miles from home during the July 4th holiday weekend (July 2-6), which would be a 1.9 percent increase from the 2013 traveling number. Eighty percent (34.8 million) of the travelers this year will be driving, which AAA Public Relations Director Heather Hunter reported would be the highest number since 2007.

"With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. "In line with tradition, most travelers are celebrating their new-found summer freedom with an all-American road trip."

USDA wants to make sure that people taking a holiday weekend road trip or participating in other summer activities – camping, picnics, grilling outside, boating, etc. – take steps to ensure no foodborne illnesses are part of the experiences. The agency hosted a Twitter party June 30 to share tips and answer questions about food safety during summertime activities.

The National Safety Council has predicted there will be 385 traffic deaths and an additional 42,100 medically consulted injuries from vehicle collisions during this holiday weekend, which the council defines as 6 p.m. July 3 through 11:59 p.m. July 6. "The Fourth of July is a time for celebrations, not the emergency room," said Deborah Hersman, NSC's president and CEO. "Small steps like wearing your safety belt, leaving fireworks to the professionals, and keeping an eye on children in and around water can prevent deaths and injuries."

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