Summer is here, which means more of us are looking forward to enjoying the great, warm weather outdoors with our family and friends. Eating outdoors seems to be a favorite pastime during the summer season, and we at SouthernLINC would like to share a few food safety tips that will help you to safely prepare and enjoy your meals:
1. Check the forecast. Once cold, perishable or hot food is served, it should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 degrees. If it does, discard it. Serve, eat and get food back in the cooler.
2. Keep cool. Keep cold food cold in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs that stores food at 40 degrees or below to prevent bacteria growth. Limit the number of times you open the cooler to keep contents cold.
3. Pack smart. Don’t cross-contaminate foods in your cooler. Make sure raw meat, poultry or fish is double-wrapped to prevent their juices from dripping on other foods. Keep separate coolers for food and beverages. Chances are people will be in and out of the beverage cooler, which lets cold air escape.
4. Be clean. If you do not have access to clean running water, bring wipes or sanitizing gel for surfaces and hands. Wash hands before food prep and after handling raw meats.
5. Use a thermometer. Don’t rely on the color of meat to judge when it’s cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Safe minimum temperatures are:
With these great preparation suggestions, you can be sure that you will be safe while enjoying your meals outdoors. Be sure to share these recommendations with others!
For more tips, visit www.fda.gov