Food Safety in the Summer

Warmer weather is ideal for outdoor picnics and barbecues, but it’s also a perfect environment for bacteria and other nasty bugs that can cause food poisoning.

  • The most common foodborne illnesses are:  norovirus, salmonella, clostridium perfringens and campylobacter.

To make sure you’re serving up food that’s safe so you don’t end up making a trip to the ER this Fourth of July holiday or summer, here are some tips to follow.

Wash Your Hands

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Marinating Meats

  • Always marinate food in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food. Reserve a portion of the unused marinade to use as a sauce.

Grilling guide

  • When grilling foods, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure that food reaches a safe internal temperature.
  • Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees, while large cuts of beef such as roasts and steaks may be cooked to 145 degrees for medium rare or to 160 degrees for medium.
  • Hot dogs, brats and sausages should be grilled to 165 degrees.
  • Poultry must reach a temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Fish should be opaque and flake easily.

 Warmer weather is ideal for outdoor picnics and barbecues, but it’s also a perfect environment for bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Learn how to be safe from a Memorial expert.

Change plates

  • When taking foods off the grill, do not put cooked food items back on the same plate that held raw food, unless it has been washed with hot water and soap first.
  • In hot weather (above 90°F) foods should never sit out for more than one hour before going in the refrigerator.
  • Any food that sits out for more than two hours should be tossed in the garbage

Keep your cooler cool

  • A full cooler will maintain its cold temperatures longer than one that is partially filled so it is important to pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs to ensure a constant cold temperature.
  • Keep the cooler out of the direct sun.
  • Keep drinks in a separate cooler from foods. The beverage cooler will be opened frequently while the food cooler stays cold.



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