Spring is coming and before you know it summer will be here too, which means time for grilling, barbecues and outdoor festivities. But be sure to follow these tips to protect you and your family from foodborne illnesses. According to CDC 48 million (or 1 in 6) Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses.
#1: Keep cooked and raw foods separate. Avoid reusing dishes that had raw meat, poultry, or seafood on it.
#2: Cook picnic foods properly. Avoid partially cooking the food, cook all meat completely at the picnic. This will ensure that bacteria won’t grown on the burgers and hotdogs when pre-cooking them ahead of time.
#3: A food thermometer is your best friend. Beef, pork, and lamb should be cooked to a minimum of 145°F according to USDA. Cook poultry to at least 165°F.
#4: Wash up. Make sure to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds – that’s at least two rounds of the happy birthday song.
#5: Thaw food in the fridge over night. Thawing food on the counter allows for bacteria to grow and multiply.
#6: Proper temperature. Keep cold foods in the cooler at 40°F or below until serving time. Keep hot foods at or above 140°F.
#7: Use separate coolers. Keep drinks on ice in one cooler and perishable foods in another cooler.
#8: Toss the leftovers. Leaving out perishable foods for more than two hours will cause the bacteria to grow. Place perishable foods back in the cooler after you’re done eating to prevent spoiling. Remember, if in doubt, throw it out!