Summer Food Safety Tips

Mark your calendars! Summer officially begins on Wednesday, June 21. Summer is a season of picnics, pool parties, and outdoor grilling. We want you to keep your food safe this summer so you don’t end up with any foodborne illness. Here are a few food safety tips!
For the Grill:
  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for meats/fish and ready to eat items like fruits and vegetables.
  • Never re-use items that have touched raw meat to serve once it has been cooked.
  • Keep meats and other refrigerated food cold until it’s time to grill.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your foods are a proper temperature to serve. Sometimes it can be hard to tell visually.
    • Beef, Pork, Lamb & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time.
    • Ground meats: 160°F.
    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165°F
When Serving Food Outdoors:
  • Never let perishable food sit out for more than two hours. If the outdoor temperature is above 90°F it should never sit our for more than one hour.
  • Serve cold food in small portions and keep the rest on ice or in the cooler.  After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep hot until served. (140°F or warmer)
  • Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill or rack, not directly over the coals where it could overcook.
For Picnics and Traveling:
  • Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs.  Frozen food can also be used as a cold source.
  • Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut up fruit and vegetables; and perishable dairy products.
  • A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one.  When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.
  • Avoid opening the cooler repeatedly so that your food stays colder longer.
Stay healthy and safe this summer!
Article adapted from FoodSaftey.gov.

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