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Summer food safety tips

GEHA | August 30, 2018

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:

  1. 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.
  2. If you are grilling, keep perishable foods cold until they are ready to go on the grill.
  3. 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.
  4. Help your food stay cold by avoiding opening your cooler more than absolutely necessary.
  5. Keep your perishable foods and drinks in separate coolers.
  6. 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.
  7. Securely wrap raw meat, seafood or poultry before you transport it to avoid contaminating other foods.
  8. Always marinate your foods in the refrigerator.
  9. Clean your produce under running tap water before packing them in your cooler.
  10. 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. “Summer and Vacations.”, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 Aug. 2009.