Foodborne illnesses increase with the warm weather, picnicking, and outdoor cooking. Stay healthy and safe by following these recommendations!
COOL FOOD STORAGE
- Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs.
- Foods that must be kept cold are raw meat, deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches, summer salads (tuna, egg, chicken, pasta or seafood), cut up fruit and vegetables, and perishable dairy products.
- A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature better than a partially filled one.
- Keep cooler out of direct sun.
- Avoid opening cooler repeatedly so that your food stays colder longer.
COOKING ON THE GRILL
- Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread.
- Keep perishable food cold until ready to cook. Marinate in the refrigerator.
- Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to safe minimum temperatures:
- Beef, pork, lamb: 145 degrees F with a three minute rest time
- Ground Meats: 160 degrees F
- Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165 degrees F
- Always use a fresh clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never use items that touched raw food.
WHEN SERVING OUTDOORS:
- Perishable food should not sit out for more than 2 hours. In hot weather (above 90), food should never be left out more than 1 hour.
- Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in a cooler.
- After cooking meat and poultry on the grill keep it hot until served – at 140 degrees or warmer.
- CDC estimates that 48 million suffer from foodborne illnesses each year resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
- Foodborne bacteria such as E-Coli or Salmonella can multiply very rapidly and reach dangerous levels very quickly in the warmer weather.