Avoid Food Poisoning this Summer
By Sara Butler
The hot weather of summer is great for many things such as family barbeques, swimming, picnics and amusement parks. Do you know what summer isn’t good for? Keeping food fresh! Warmer temperatures create a breeding ground for bacteria in your food, so take some measures so you don’t end up getting yourself, or your friends and family, sick this summer!
This is one of the most obvious tips to avoid foodborne illness, don’t mix raw meat with cooked foods. If you patted together some burgers for the grill outside, make sure to wash your hands after you’re done handling them and never reuse a plate or utensil that came into contact with raw meat.
Let it Marinate Properly
Marinated meat and the grill go hand in hand, but never marinate meat outside or on the counter, it always needs to be stored in a refrigerator as it marinates and stay there until it’s ready to be cooked. Also, never use marinade that had raw meat in it as a sauce unless you want to take a big chance of making everyone sick!
Cook it Right
Every food has a temperature you need to cook it to in order to ensure it is safe, so use a food thermometer to help you know when food is done. You should never just go by the color. Ground beef needs to be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken to 165 degrees, and steaks, fish or pork to 145 degrees.
Keep it Cold or Keep it Hot
Cold foods should always be kept cold until they’re ready to eat, and hot foods should be kept hot. If you need to insulate hot or cold foods to keep them at temperature while being served, then do it. If you don’t do this then you run the risk of bacteria multiplying in the food, which can make everyone sick. Once you have served hot or cold food it needs to be put in the fridge or freezer within two hours if you plan to keep it.
Keep Food and Drink Apart
When you bring a cooler for beverages to a party don’t store your food in it, too. You constantly open and close beverage coolers, so the temperature can fluctuate and that’s no good for food you plan on cooking. So, if you’re bringing any raw meat to parties to cook, you need to make sure it’s stored in a separate cooler, wrapped well and on the bottom in case of leakage.