Avoiding Foodborne Illnesses During the SummerBy Child Safety Specialist Aug 9, 2010 | 10:55:00 amPosted in: Family, Personal Safety
This July was one of the hottest months in recorded history and August is gearing up to be just as much of a scorcher. One of the things I love about summer is how laid back we are when it comes to dinner plans. Whether it’s picnicking at the beach, grilling in the backyard or just grabbing something at the ballpark it’s spur of the moment.
No matter what’s on the menu however, it’s important to be sure that your food doesn’t become a breeding ground for bacteria or the cause of a major food borne illness. After all, nothing will spoil a perfect summer night faster than a bad case of food poisoning!
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep it cool -- Hot weather is the perfect breeding ground for foodborne bacteria, which grows rapidly in moist air when the temperature is between 90 ° and 110° F. Be sure foods such as raw or cooked meats, luncheon meats and mayonnaise-based foods are stored in a cooler with several inches of ice. If the ice melts it’s important to replenish as soon as possible.
Well Done or Rare? When grilling outside or away from home, be sure to take a meat thermometer along to be sure that the meat is cooked completely. Especially when grilling, food can appear completely cooked on the outside but not be heated to the proper internal temperature.
Wrap it up! Keep raw meat well wrapped and be sure that if any juice drips it’s cleaned up immediately with an anti-bacterial wipe. If juices come into contact with already prepared food, don’t eat them. Whatever utensils or cutting boards are used for raw meat should immediately be wrapped up and stored away.
Wash up – One of the largest causes of foodborne illnesses is improper hand washing. Be sure to pack hand sanitizer gel and anti-bacterial wipes for washing up. If you’re camping or grilling away from home, bring a jug of water and some dish soap to wash off utensils and plates.
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