Summer food safety tips
Food safety expert Dr. Ruth Petran shares advice for summer meals
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hosting a backyard barbeque? Separate raw and cooked meats to avoid cross contamination:
- Use separate utensils, platters and cutting boards.
- 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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