Tips on Sumer Food Safety The Fourth of July is coming up. That’s means celebrations, parties, and backyard barbeques! Food always seems to be a big part of many of these get-togethers. What family doesn’t enjoy celebrating with classics like baked beans and potato salad and grilled burgers?
How safe is your food though? According to the CDC , foodborne diseases affect tens of millions of people and kill thousands in the US each year. No one wants to get sick, so it’s very important to take proper precautions when it comes to preparing food, serving food, and storing food.
Here are few tips, regarding food safety that will keep your loved ones safe from early afternoon until late at night when the last of the fireworks fades into the night sky.
1. Wash, wash, wash. Start clean and stay clean.
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds using hot, soapy water. It’s the best way to stop the spread of bacteria. Also, any time you handle raw meat, poultry or eggs, wash your hands and disinfect your tools and kitchen surfaces.
• Make sure your kitchen or workspace is clean, and your tools have been properly cleaned and sanitized. Consider using one cutting board for meets and another one for produce. Plastic cutting boards are best because they can be placed in the dishwasher for added protection.
• Wash your vegetables or cut off the outer skins.
2. Keep cold foods cold.
• Food should be keep cold (below 41 degree F). Don’t leave food out for more than two hours. This includes transport and serving time.
• Meat should be defrosted in the microwave or the refrigerator and never left on the counter to thaw.
• Marinate your meats in the fridge. Bacteria grows very quickly at room temperature. • Use an insulated cooler and ice packs to keep everything cold. Keep drinks in one cooler and food in a separate cooler. Drinks will be accessed more often allowing the cold air to escape.
• Never use the same plate for raw meat, poultry, or sea food. Always get a new plate for cooked foods.
• Keep eggs, meats, and vegetables separate in your fridge. Juices from raw meats or eggs can contaminate your food if they leak.
4. Keep hot foods hot.
• You can’t really tell if your food is cooked just by looking at it, so use a thermometer. According to Fight Bac, Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees F and large cuts of beef to 145 for medium raw. Poultry must reach a temperature of 165 degrees. Fish should be opaque and flake easily.
Here’s to a fun and healthy summer!