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Keeping food safety in mind when eating outdoors

Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 12:57 PM CDT
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People love to spend time outside in the summer months eating a delicious meal, but there are things to keep in mind so your food is safe while outdoors. Fareway Dietitian Whitney Hemmer has those tips.

If you’re planning a barbecue this summer, you’ll likely be dining outside. Keep your family safe this summer by following the USDA’s four simple safety steps: clean, separate, cook and chill.

  • Clean – wash your hands, utensils and surfaces frequently to stop the spread of germs.
  • Separate – Keep raw meat below ready to eat foods in the refrigerator and always use separate cutting boards and utensils.
  • Cook – use a food thermometer and keep hot foods above 140⁰F. Always reheat leftovers in the microwave to 165⁰F
  • Chill – Refrigerate perishables within two hours. If it’s above 90⁰F, cut that time down to an hour – bacteria can grow even faster when it’s hot!

Caution foods:

  • Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, cooked rice, cooked pasta, prepared salads (coleslaw, potato salad, rice salad), prepared fruit salads.
  • Mayo – usually touted as unsafe. Commercially prepared mayo has a lower pH, which helps fight bacteria. Homemade mayo is often made with unpasteurized eggs and nothing added to fight again bacteria.
  • Meats - tend to be very dangerous – these are often what is contaminated in salads like potato or ham salad. Be especially careful!! Pack in an ice-filled cooler. Use the “1 hour rule” if it’s over 90 degrees, or the “2 hour rule” if less than 90 degrees.

For more information on food safety, visit www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/. Email Whitney with questions here.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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