What is a vacation, road trip or day at the beach without snacks? Keeping snacks safe means keeping fruits and vegetables that have been peeled or sliced, cold. Once a fruit or vegetable has been prepared (this includes slicing) it needs to be kept below 40° F. The maximum time they can be kept at outdoor summer temperatures (70 to 100°) is one hour. The typical two hour restriction for foods at room temperature is reduced to one hour when the temperature gets above 70°. It is easy to buy a bag of chips or other packaged snacks, but fruits and vegetables are still the healthiest and most refreshing snack in the summer. So, go ahead and pack up lots of fruit and fresh vegetables for that trip; just remember to keep them chilled to keep them safe. For more information on food safety at home, check out links at this website.
By LuAnn Duncan, Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences