Serve up these 5 food safety tips this summer
Summer. It's the perfect time to grab some food and picnic in the park or your own backyard. But while warmer weather makes eating outdoors inviting, it also raises the risk of food poisoning—bacteria thrive when temperatures soar. To help make sure your foods stay tasty and safe follow these five tips:
1. Keep things clean. Nearly half of all foodborne illnesses could be prevented if people would wash their hands more often. Wash yours before cooking, after handling raw meat, poultry and fish, and before eating. Use a hand sanitizer if water isn't available.
2. Keep cool things cool. For picnics, place perishable food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Park the cooler in the shade. At home, keep food in the refrigerator before placing it on the grill or the table.
3. Keep hot things hot. Both hot and cold foods need to stay at the proper temperatures to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Watch this video to learn the correct temps.
4. Keep foods separated. Have separate plates, tongs and containers to keep raw and cooked meat, poultry, and fish from touching.
5. Keep an eye on the clock. Food should not sit out for more than two hours. Put it away after one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees or higher.
Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; U.S. Food and Drug Administration