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Free food safety advice offered in September

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

To help celebrate National Food Safety Education Month, the University of Georgia Extension Service and Publix supermarkets are teaming up on three Saturdays in September to help shoppers serve safer food.

"Many cases of foodborne illness are caused by improper handling of food between the grocery store and the table," said Judy Harrison, a UGA Extension Service food safety expert.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 76 million U.S. cases of foodborne illness each year. Of those, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die.

The food safety festivals will be at featured Atlanta-area Publix stores Sept. 11, 18 and 25. The program, provided by UGA Extension Service food safety specialists, aims to help prevent foodborne illness by teaching safe handling practices.

The activities will include taste testing, quick-and-easy recipe ideas, games and prizes for adults and kids. Local 4- H'ers will offer food-safety demonstrations and advice on safe snacks and lunches.

The Georgia 5 A Day Coalition will be promoting healthy eating. This is part of a national (www.5aday.com) nutrition program to get more people to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. September is "National 5 A Day Month."

Only one out of five children eats the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, experts say. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other substances, they say, that are important for good health.

The events start at 10 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., with a break from noon to 1:30 p.m., on these dates at these Publix stores:

  • Sept. 11: Rose Creek Shopping Center, 4403 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock; and Towne Lake Center, 1430 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock.
  • Sept. 18: Centre at Woodstock, 12165 Highway 92, Woodstock; and King Plaza, 885 Woodstock Road, Roswell.
  • Sept. 25, the Centre at Panola, 3045 Panola Road, Lithonia; and Flat Shoals Crossing, 3649 Flakes Mill Road, Decatur.
  • (Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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