Tips for Safe Outdoor Eating
Provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health
The sunny days of summer bring hot temperatures and outdoor gatherings. Unfortunately, its also a time of increased risk of food poisoning. While most Americans realize that summer poses the biggest threat of foodborne illness, consumers are still not practicing correct outdoor food safety procedures.
So, before you pack the picnic basket, remember these simple tips to ensure that unwanted bacteria wont have a place at your table.
Wash Hands Often
Bring moist towelettes or soap and water to clean your hand and surfaces often.
Keep Raw Meats and Ready-to-Eat Foods Separate
Bring extra plates one for handling raw foods and another for cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
Marinate foods in the refrigerator. Don't reuse marinade used on raw meat or poultry unless boiled.
Cook to Proper Temperatures
Cook your favorite foods to the right temperature by checking it with a meat thermometer. Cook hamburger to at least 160F and chicken breasts to 170F.
Never partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
Refrigerate Promptly Below 40F
Pack food in plenty of ice in a well-insulated cooler with sufficient ice or icepacks to keep the food below 40F.
Transport the cooler in the back seat of your air-conditioned car instead of in your hot trunk.
Remove from the cooler only the amount of raw meat that will fit on the grill.
Defrost meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator before taking them to the grill.
Don't leave food outside in hot weather (90 F or above) for more than one hour.
For more information, visit the ADA/ConAgra Web site at www.homefoodsafety.org.