Did your Mom ever say “Don’t Eat That!?”
It’s not safe or healthy!
Outdoor eating is always fun, you want to enjoy the wonderful weather, you are tired of being inside, but remember a few things to keep you healthy and safe.
The warmer temperatures bring an increased risk for food borne bacteria that you need to be aware of. That’s why it’s important to keep food at the proper temperature, whether hot or cold, and to use safe food handling techniques.
I think it is great to sit on the porch or even go camping. What is the primary thing that you tend to do when you are out and about? EAT, right.
Without that chef, or even your kitchen, you tend to forget what it takes to stay healthy and safe from harmful bacteria. Yes, I know that potato salad was great and you want one more helping, but keep in mind a few things first and you will not have that trip to the doctor.
Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you go dining outside, this might help you stay outside.
Transporting Your Food
- Store cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs at 40°F or less.
- Store drinks in a separate cooler from food. Very important, you can also wash off the cans first. Drink coolers are frequently opened, causing the temperature to rise, which can be unsafe for food.
- Tightly wrap uncooked meats so juices don’t contaminate other food in the cooler, (That is what plastic bags are for). Better yet, store uncooked meats in a separate cooler.
Maintain proper food temperatures
- Don’t let cold foods sit out longer than two hours (or one hour if the outdoor temperature is warmer than 90°F).
- Place items like chicken salad in a serving dish over ice and change the ice often to maintain proper food temperature.
- Keep warm dishes warm until they’re served. Then, they should be kept at 140°F. Like cold foods, hot foods should not sit out more than two hours (or one hour if the outdoor temperature is warmer than 90°F).
- Keep grilled foods hot until it’s time to eat. Place grilled food on the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals, so food will stay hot without getting overcooked.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure that meat has been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. See infographic for guidelines.
Keep it clean
- Before handling food, remember to wash your hands. If running water isn’t available, use bottled water and soap or hand sanitizer. Do you really know where your hands have been, and what you were touching?
- Use one set of serving dishes and utensils for grilled foods and another for uncooked foods.
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables under running water.
To read more visit: http://washington.providence.org/health-resources/to-your-health-blog/2015/05/keep-picnic-foods-safe-this-holiday-weekend/?utm_source=tyh&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tyh_june2015_wa
Play it safe in the summer when the weather is right for that picnic.
So, go eat and be merry, just keep this list in mind when you grab that extra helping or two.
Isn’t your main goal to have fun, who wants to sit in the bathroom the whole time.
Play it safe and stay healthy,
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