We look forward to summer, eating al fresco (outdoor dining). Picnic and barbecue season is here and many of us enjoy this outdoor fun with our friends and family, but foodborne bacteria enjoy it just as much…
Keep yourself and loved ones safe from foodborne illnesses and practice safe food handling methods.
Preparing and Serving Food:
- During Food prep and serving ALWAYS wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water. If you are outdoors without access to running water, use some water from a water bottle and soap or hand sanitizer and dry your hands with paper towels.
- Make sure all cleaning surfaces, utensils and serving platters/dishes are clean to prepare food on and to serve food on.
- Defrost safe. Defrost raw meat/fish/poultry in the refrigerator on a plate to prevent spills and store on the bottom shelf to avoid dripping onto ready to eat foods or in the microwave. NEVER defrost raw protein on the counter!!!! Bacteria love to thrive in this temperature! Avoid Food in the “Danger Zone” 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Marinate protein safely. Always marinate your raw meat/poultry/fish in the refrigerator- never leave it on the counter at home or outdoors. ***Never add marinade from raw foods to cooked foods***
- Cook food thoroughly. Use a Food thermometer to ensure the internal cooked temperature.
Food/Temperature- degrees Fahrenheit
Steaks/Roasts/Pork/Veal/Lamb- 145 degrees F
Ground Beef -160 degrees F
Poultry- 165 degrees F
Fish and Shellfish- 145 degrees F
Leftovers- 165 degrees F
- Hot Food should be kept hot at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
- Do not serve food on the same platter that was used to marinate the raw meat. Use a clean serving platter and utensils to serve cooked food.
- Cooked food should not be left out for more than 2 hours indoors or 1 hour outdoors when bacteria can grow quickly and lead to foodborne illness.
Packing and Transporting Food:
- Keep cold food cold. Don’t forget the frozen gel ice packs or ice to pack the cooler! Cold food should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less to prevent bacterial growth. Keep cold perishable food in the cooler at 40 degrees Fahrenheit until you are ready to serve. If you are transporting meat, poultry or fish to prepare, you may pack them still frozen so they will stay colder longer.
- Make sure your cooler or insulated bag is clean. Wipe spills to prevent cross contamination. Clean it after each use.
- Organize the contents of the cooler. Keep raw meats away from ready to eat foods like fruits and veggies. If possible consider using separate coolers for raw meats vs ready to eat salads or fruit or store raw protein on the bottom of the cooler.
- Wrap all raw poultry/red meat/seafood securely to prevents spill and contamination.
- Clean your produce (raw fruits and vegetables) under running cold water prior to packing them and scrub off any debris. Rinse berries in a colander in cold running water. Dry fruits and vegetables with clean paper towel.
Stay safe and enjoy your summer!!