Agriculture Secretary: Pick ‘PA Preferred’ Foods for Labor Day Picnics

September 2, 2010

Offers Food Handling Tips for Safe, Healthy Gatherings

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — By purchasing locally-produced foods for Labor Day weekend meals and picnics, Pennsylvania consumers can support area farmers while enjoying some of the freshest foods available, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today.

“Pennsylvania would not enjoy such an abundant and affordable food supply without our hardworking farmers,” said Redding. “This Labor Day, we can all celebrate and pay tribute to the efforts of these dedicated men and women by purchasing food products labeled as PA Preferred. When you do, you are not only getting a product recognized for quality, but also supporting farms and jobs in local communities–and keeping Pennsylvania growing.”

PA Preferred is the Department of Agriculture’s branding program that helps consumers easily identify locally sourced products through the program’s logo, which is a gold checkmark in a blue keystone.

Governor Edward G. Rendell proclaimed September as “PA Preferred Month,” encouraging residents to visit the state’s nearly 5,000 PA Preferred member locations, including farmers markets, restaurants, food processors, grocery chains, plant nurseries, fiber mills, wood products manufacturers, Christmas tree farms, craft breweries and wineries.

Visit www.papreferred.com for recipes featuring PA Preferred ingredients and a searchable listing of PA Preferred members.

Redding reminded those who are cooking holiday meals to follow proper food handling procedures to ensure a safe, illness-free gathering. He offered the following food safety tips:

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water and dry them thoroughly before and after handling food.
  • Keep hands, clothing and food surfaces clean during food preparation.
  • Use separate cutting boards, platters, trays and utensils for cooked and uncooked meat, fish and poultry.
  • Make sure your foods are temperature-controlled, meaning the hot foods should stay hot and cold foods remain cold.

For more information about food safety, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: newswire

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