Santa Clara County / CALIFORNIA
Football fans, visitors, and residents are gearing up to celebrate the Super Bowl (SB50) in Santa Clara County. Whether eating at home, barbecues, parties, or restaurants, the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health encourages residents and visitors to use their food safety playbook when preparing food or dining out.
“We want the public to have the food safety tools they need to make smart, informed decisions when celebrating with family and friends during SB50 activities,” said Jim Blamey, Director of the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. “Consumers can use our food preparation tips and the SCCDineOut iPhone App as an SB50 food safety playbook for celebrating with food safely in the coming days.”
The Consumer Protection Division’s Food Safety Program provides a wide range of services to ensure that food purchased by consumers is safe and wholesome. These services include inspections of food facilities, investigations of foodborne illnesses, local response to food recalls and responding to public complaints.
SCCDineOut Mobile App (iPhone)
The SCCDineOut mobile App is an information tool provided by the Department of Environmental Health for anyone planning to eat at local restaurants in Santa Clara County. It offers online food facility inspection results to help consumers choose an eating establishment.
On SCCDineOut, consumers also can quickly and easily check compliance scores from the County’s food facility placarding and scoring program. The program assigns a Green, Yellow, or Red colored placard for food facilities and posts the results of environmental health inspections online along with the overall compliance score, in an effort to provide the consumer information when making their decision on where to eat.
Features of the SCCDineOut app include:
– Inspection results for thousands of food facilities within Santa Clara County
– Search by food facility name or those near your current location
– Sort inspection results by compliance score
– Contact information for food facilities
– Closure information about food facilities that are immediately closed due to a major violation
– More information about the placard color and compliance score
– Option to submit feedback to the Department
Food facility and inspection reports and food placarding scores can be viewed online at the Department’s SCCDineOut web site: www.sccgov.org/sccdineout
“We encourage residents and visitors to download the SCCDineOut app so they have inspection results and compliance scores readily available when visiting local eateries,” said Michael Balliet, Director of the Department of Environmental Health Consumer Protection Division. “We also want to remind consumers to follow essential food safety guidelines during any gathering or celebration involving food.”
Food Preparation Tips
To help residents stay healthy and safe, and to avoid food-borne illness, the Department of Environmental Health has provided the following guidelines to prepare, handle and store food:
• Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
• Marinate food in the refrigerator. Reserve a portion of the unused marinate to use as a sauce. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food.
• When grilling foods, preheat the coals for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.
• Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are thoroughly cooked to their safe minimum internal temperature:
• Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest time.
• Ground meats: 160 degrees F.
• Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165 degrees F.
• Fish should be opaque and flake easily or cook to 145 degrees F.
• Always use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry to serve the food once it is cooked.
• Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items such as vegetables, fruits or breads.
• Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook. In hot weather (above 90 degrees F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour. Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where it could overcook.
• A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Keep drinks in a separate cooler from foods. The beverage cooler will be opened frequently while the food cooler stays cold.
Food facilities can prepare for a successful SB50 event by visiting the Department of Environmental Health website at www.EHinfo.org or calling the Consumer Protection Division at (408) 918-3400.
The public can file a food safety complaint about retail food facilities (restaurants, bars, bakeries, and grocery stores that sell food and beverages directly to the consumer) with the Consumer Protection Division, by calling (408) 918-3400 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more food safety information, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/