Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Food Safe
What are the top 10 ways to keep your food safe during your holiday and Summer get togethers? Read on…
41 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles during the July 4th holiday weekend (July 2-6), which is a 1.9 percent increase from 2013. According to AAA, Eighty percent (34.8 million) of the travelers this year will be driving, which AAA Public Relations Director Heather Hunter reported would be the highest number since 2007. “With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “In line with tradition, most travelers are celebrating their new-found summer freedom with an all-American road trip.”
Once you’ve arrived at your destination safely, be aware that the heat and contaminating factors can be equally dangerous to the food you consume. Here are some guidelines to keep your food safe in the sun and heat.
1. Don’t allow food to sit in a hot car
2. Raw meat and poultry may contain bacteria that can cause food borne illnesses, and sitting in the temperature danger zone can cause those bad guys to multiply dramatically. Meat and poultry have to be cooked to destroy bacteria and should be kept at temperatures that are either too hot or too cold for these bacteria to grow.
3. Temperature Control. don’t let your picnic food stay in the “Danger Zone” (between 40° F and 140° F) for more than 2 hours, or only for one hour if the outdoor temperature is higher than 90° F. Keep hot foods hot: above 140°F. Keep cold foods cold: below 40°F.
4. Perishable food can stay safely unrefrigerated for two hours if the air temperature is less than 90 degrees – and only for one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees or higher.
5. Keep things clean. Wash your hands before and after handling food, and don’t use the same platter and utensils for both raw and cooked meat and poultry.
6. Food shouldn’t be out of the cooler or off the grill for more than 2 hours or one hour when the temperature is above 90°F.
7. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold the entire time it is outdoors/
8. Consider freezing the food and putting it into the cooler frozen and allowing it to defrost to a cold temperature, in transit.
9. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another so the perishable foods won’t be repeatedly exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures as people keep opening the cooler for drinks.
10. For those states that are marijuana friendly, put your munchies in the refrigerator before you indulge.
On a finishing note, if in doubt, throw it out. Any perishable foods that have been kept out too long or have not been kept adequately chilled should get tossed. Be safe, have fun and above all else…
Eat Well…Live Full
Laura Raymond, Editor
July 1, 2014