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Simple Steps to Food Safety

By Sara Butler

Warmer weather is right around the corner and with it are more opportunities to dine outdoors. When you take a picnic to the park or grill out on your deck, you're incorporating fun and healthy eating together. Well, it'll be healthy as long as you follow a few safety rules, that is. Here is a refresher on how to keep your food safe when you're dining away from the kitchen.

Remember to Clean

Cleanliness is paramount when you're dining outside. It's important to remember these things:

  • Wash your hands - Sometimes when you're outside, a place to wash your hands can be difficult to find. That's why you should bring clean water and soap or hand sanitizer to make sure your hands are clean for cooking and eating.
  • Wash your vegetables and fruit - It's important to have a place to wash your food, too.
  • Don't wash meat - Meat requires no washing and will only serve to contaminate other surfaces you may cook on.
  • Wash cutting boards - Before and after food preparation you should wash your food prep services and utensils.

Keep Food Separate

When you're cooking foods outside, the same rules apply to keep things separate. Raw meat and eggs always need to be kept away from foods that are ready to eat, such as vegetables and fruit. If you grill raw meat, never use the platter the meat was on to put the cooked meat back on to. You should also have separate cutting boards and knives when prepping foods.

When You Cook

It's important to follow food safety rules for cooking to ensure no one gets sick. That's why food should be cooked to temperature. Use a thermometer to check that the meat you're preparing is cooked right. All hot foods should be kept above 140 degrees Fahrenheit after cooking, while cold foods must be kept under 40 degrees when you're camping or transporting them. When you're trying to reheat leftovers, make sure they reach 165 degrees.

Always makes sure you're taking all the precautions you can to stay safe when you're eating outside. After all, it's difficult to enjoy the beautiful weather when you have food poisoning! When in doubt, simply apply the same rules you use in your kitchen to stay safe when cooking outside and remember to put food away when finished in order to help keep you and the wildlife safe!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.

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