Summer food safety tips

Food safety expert Dr. Ruth Petran shares advice for summer meals

June 27, 2018

Summer eating is wonderful – from grilling in your backyard to picking fresh vegetables at the farmers’ market to camping cookouts – there’s so much to enjoy. Don’t ruin your summer fun with a foodborne illness. Here are five tips from Dr. Ruth Petran, Ecolab food safety expert, to keep your food safe this summer:

  1. Firing up the grill? Cook your meats to the proper temperatures:
    • Cook chicken to 165°F/ 73.8°C.
    • Cook ground meats to 160°F/ 71.1°C.
    • Cook steak or pork chops to 145°F/ 62.7°C.
  2. Packing a cooler for the beach? Keep your food at safe temperatures:
    • Keep food that needs to be served cold at less than  41°F/ 5°C until you’re ready to start cooking or serving.
    • Keep food that you want to serve warm, hotter than 140°F/ 60°C.
    • Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than two hours. But if it’s really hot outside – over 90°F/ 32.2°C – don’t keep food out for more than one hour.
  3. Preparing for a picnic? Keep your food prep clean:
    • Make sure you have clean water readily available for clean-up during and after you cook.
    • Wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds.
    • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and food prep areas with hot, soapy water.
  4. Hosting a backyard barbeque? Separate raw and cooked meats to avoid cross contamination:
    • Use separate utensils, platters and cutting boards.
  5. Headed to the farmers’ market? Avoid unsafe food:
    • Only buy food items that do not appear to be damaged.
    • Follow the recommended storage temperatures and times to make sure your fruits and vegetables are high quality.
    • Wash the produce before eating to remove visible soil, unless it’s marked “pre-washed.”

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