Summer is such a popular time to have picnics and outdoor cookouts, but with that warm weather, it can create an environment that can cause your food to go bad a lot faster. Food-borne illnesses occur a lot more in the summer, due to the hot heat and the speed of the bacteria growth on food. I am going to share a variety of summer food safety tips to help keep you and your family safe!
Bacteria thrives in warm conditions, and when you are away from the sink outside grilling, it is easier for foods to get contaminated. So stay mindful and keep foods chilled. Read these food safety tips below to help eliminate any sickness this season.
Stay Safe at Your Cookouts With These Food Safety Tips
Raw and Cooked Foods
When you grill it is easy to use the same pair of tongs to flip the meat and then you grab them to serve the food as well. Make sure that if you carry out raw meat to put on the grill, that you wash the plate and utensils. When your meat is done, put it on a clean dish, and grab fresh utensils to serve your food with.
I have seen this time and time again, using the same marinade you used to soak your meat to continually baste your meat. That marinade is filled with raw meat juices and bacteria. When you go to baste your meat, do it at the very end, and with a fresh batch of marinade! If your meat is halfway cooked and you dip your utensil into the marinade, you are filling it with bacteria.
Thaw and Marinade In Fridge
Never thaw out meat on the counter or marinade food. Simply marinade and thaw meat in the fridge. Thawing on the counter or marinading can get the meat to a low enough temperature that harmful bacteria can begin to grow. It is easy to forget about your meat on the counter, and when you walk back, it is room temperature and at risk for bacteria.
After you put meat on the grill go in and wash those hands. Don’t just continue cooking, as your hands are covered in bacteria. Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Wash down any counters that you are prepping food as well.
Keep Cold Foods Cold and Put Food Up
If you are traveling or even serving food outside, make sure you have lots of ice. Bacteria can begin to grow rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees. Make sure that all your side dishes stay at a cold temperature. If you are outdoors keep the cooler out of direct sunlight. Make sure your dishes are served on ice, to keep your potato salad, coleslaw and other cold side dishes cold. Potato salad is known for growing bacteria very easily and getting people sick, so make sure you keep items cold. After you eat if you are at home, make sure to put up your meat and side dishes quickly after, so they don’t get to warm. Don’t leave your food out for the evening and put it up after everyone leaves. You can leave foods and snacks out, but items that need to be refrigerated need to go in right after everyone has finished the meal.
If In Doubt, “Throw It Out”
If you are unsure if something has gone bad, use the old saying, If in Doubt, Throw it Out! Don’t risk eating something if it sat out to long, because food poisoning is very serious! It is never worth the risk!
Going to the beach? Check out my beach tips and hacks here . Have a wonderful and safe summer!
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