Food Safety

Cookouts and picnics are frequent and honored traditions of summer, a time for family to gather, socialize and have fun. Summer outings can be ruined if safe food handling and preparation techniques aren’t observed. Hot summer temperatures can help foodborne bacteria multiply at rapid speeds, spoiling food and causing illness. Proper food preparation also protects against foodborne illnesses.

Keep Food Safe
Follow these 4 easy steps to help your family be food safe:
  • Chill - Bacteria spread fastest at temperatures between 40 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, so chilling food properly is an effective way to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
  • Clean - Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on hands, cutting boards, knives, and counter tops. Frequent cleaning can keep that from happening.
  • Cook - Even for experienced cooks, the improper heating and preparation of food means bacteria can survive. Follow appropriate cooking times and temperatures.
  • Separate - Cross-contamination is how bacteria spread. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
Safe Cooking
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs should be cooked to the appropriate temperature. Raw oysters and shellfish pose a special risk for certain people. When cooking, use a meat thermometer or follow these tips:

Cook it until the meat is white, and don’t eat it if you see blood or pink meat.

Cook it until there are no traces of pink in the center, or blood in the juice.

Can be safely cooked to medium(because harmful bacteria in beef are found on the surface of the steak.

Cook until it flakes easily and is no longer translucent in the center.

Cook eggs and egg dishes thoroughly. Don’t sample anything containing raw eggs such as uncooked cake batter and cookie dough.

Learn more about food safety and proper food preparation.

Why Hand Washing is So Important
Good hand washing protects against the spread of many illnesses from the common cold, to more serious illnesses, such as meningitis, the flu and hepatitis.

Proper hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of germs. When people come into contact with germs, they can unknowingly become infected by simply touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Washing your hands is a message worth repeating!