Have a Food Safe Summer!

Nan Jensen, Extension Agent

Schools is out and summer is here so let the fun begin. Whether it’s a cookout at the beach, a backyard barbecue or a picnic in the park, remember to play it safe with the food you prepare and eat.

Here are some safe food tips to get you started.

Pack smart. Store and transport perishable foods properly. Keep meats, produce, and salads in individual containers, and put them towards the bottom of the cooler to keep them as cold as possible. Place coolers in the car seat instead of the trunk to allow the containers to stay colder, longer.

Keep it clean. Clean your hands, utensils and work surfaces with soap and water. Moist towelettes come in handy for cleaning where access to water is limited.

Stay out of the zone. Keep the cold food cold and hot food hot. Never let your food remain in the “Danger Zone” — between 40 °F and 140 °F — for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90 °F.
Check the temperature. If you are grilling, use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures.
o Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time
o Ground meats: 160 °F
o Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F

Don’t cross-contaminate. Use separate plates for raw and cooked meats and poultry and ready-to-eat foods like fruits and vegetables.

For more information check out Eating Outdoors: Handling Food Safely at
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/UCM239489.pdf