Summer food safety tips
nutrition and exercise
Follow these 10 tips to keep your summer meals safe and delicious.
Summer is a time for cookouts and picnics, but warmer weather can lead to food safety issues.
Follow these tips to keep your summer meals safe and delicious:
- In hot weather (above 90 °F), perishable food should not sit out for more than one hour, and not more than two hours in cooler temperatures.
- If you are grilling, keep perishable foods cold until they are ready to go on the grill.
- Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs to store your perishable food, and make sure to keep your cooler out of the sun.
- Help your food stay cold by avoiding opening your cooler more than absolutely necessary.
- Keep your perishable foods and drinks in separate coolers.
- When grilling, use a fresh plate and tongs for cooked food. Do not reuse the plate or utensils you used to prepare raw meats or poultry.
- Securely wrap raw meat, seafood or poultry before you transport it to avoid contaminating other foods.
- Always marinate your foods in the refrigerator.
- Clean your produce under running tap water before packing them in your cooler.
- Even if you don’t have access to running water, you should keep your hands clean when cooking or eating outside by using a water jug and soap or moist towelettes.
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Consumers - Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Foodsafety.gov. “Summer and Vacations.” FoodSafety.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 Aug. 2009.