Summer Food Safety
With warmer weather approaching, take extra time to prepare, store, and serve foods. Whether you are planning a picnic, barbecue, or snack for the beach, there are a few things to keep in mind to protect you and your food. During the summer months, foods can easily reach the 'food danger zone,' with temperatures between 40° F and 140° F where bacteria multiply quickly.
While grocery shopping, place perishable items in your cart only immediately before checking out. Ask the bagger to place these items in separate bags from the non-perishable food items. Once home, unpack these perishable items into the refrigerator first. For outdoor eating, marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator, and keep these items cold until you are ready to place them on the grill. Be sure to cook all your meat and poultry items thoroughly. Pack cold foods in ice in coolers, and open the lid only as needed.
In hot weather, food should never sit out for more than an hour, so plan ahead to serve, eat, and return food to the cooler or refrigerator. Try serving smaller portions, so that food does not remain out of the cooler too long and serve the food quickly. Place all left-over foods directly into a cooler or refrigerator.
Summer Hydration Tip: Make sure that you are adequately hydrated!
Nutrition Tip: Easy summer snacks include raw vegetables. Clean all vegetables with water first and then slice, cut, or dice them. Place them in small plastic bags, creating several portions, and then place them in the refrigerator. Grab a healthy snack on the run.