Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: July 24, 2014


Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast. I’m your host Jim Person. Coming up, learn about hurricane season, Fairfax Alerts and National Grilling Month. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at

Hurricane season and other severe weather remind business owners and managers that it is a good time to review and update continuity plans in case of an emergency. It is also extremely important to take the necessary steps to test and exercise those continuity plans to ensure that your products and services remain available to stakeholders. Improve your readiness by taking continuity training classes. Learn to identify and prioritize your essential operating functions; establish a clear line of succession in the absence of leadership, review and update contact information and verify that communications systems are effective and operational. This ensures organizational resiliency and allows your business or nonprofit to provide the essential functions and services needed in day-to-day operations. FEMA’s national continuity program has online resources and training courses to help continuity planners improve their programs. Visit for more details.


Fairfax Alerts has replaced the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN) as the official emergency alerting system of Fairfax County. You are encouraged to take advantage of the new system by signing up at Your old CEAN account will be deleted on Oct. 1, so be sure to create a new account to stay informed during emergencies. With Fairfax Alerts, you can choose from up to 22 weather alerts and traffic updates; add up to five locations to your account such as home, work and school; get alerts via up to 10 delivery methods such as cellphone, home phone or email and set a “quiet period” for weather alerts. It’s simple – if we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you. Sign up today at


July is National Grilling Month. Before firing up the grill, remember these food safety tips that will prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness.

  1. Keep cold food cold. Meat and poultry should be refrigerated until ready to use. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter and avoid opening the lid too often.

  2. Keep hot food hot. After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served (at 135 °F or warmer). Purchase a meat thermometer and consult this? chart of safe minimum cooking temperatures.

  3. Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, you can you can defrost in the microwave if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.

  4. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion before putting raw meat and poultry in it.

  5. Don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

  6. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than two hours (one hour if temperatures are above 90 °F). Find out the recommended storage times for all types of home-refrigerated foods.

For more food safety tips, visit the Fairfax County Health Department online at

Finally, Fairfax County’s NewsWire keeps you up-to-date on news that affects you, your family and your community. Subscribe today at And be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to the emergency information blog at


That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Va., Government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

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