COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Undersecretary for Food Safety are traveling across the country on a ground roots tour to give tools to the elderly on how to prevent food borne illnesses.

Many Americans fail to take simple food safety steps and as a result are vulnerable to food borne diseases.

"Biggest things that we find that Americans don't practice when it comes to food safety is using a food thermometer," said Kristina Beaugh with the Public Affairs Specialist with the USDA.

Kristina Beaugh says it just takes four food safety steps: have clean hands and surfaces, separate your raw meat from poultry from ready to eat foods, cook your meat and poultry to a safe internal temperature and finally chill foods promptly.

"Only up to 30 percent of Americans report using a food thermometer when they cook at home. And a lot of them would be encouraged to use a food thermometer if they were given one for free, " Beaugh said.

Seniors who attended seminar walked away with free food thermometers and of course safer food practices.