June 1, 2010

Advice from RepairClinic – Summer Food Safety

Posted in appliance parts, Cleaning, Food, Health, Home, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:52 am by Liliana

Summer picnic

Summer picnic in Serbia

Every summer, people get sick with food poisoning.

By following a few simple food and hygiene safety rules, you can avoid any discomfort and enjoy the hot months of summer.

  • Keep cooked and raw food separate during preparation in order to prevent contamination of foods that will be eaten raw.
  • It is best to buy cold foods (meat, poultry, fish, dairy, etc.) right before checking out at your grocery store. Always separate raw meats  and poultry from other foods in your cart (to prevent leakage and cross-contamination.)
  • Cold foods should be placed into the coolest part of your car. If you live further than 30 minutes away, bring an ice cooler for storage.
  • Once home, place cold foods in the refrigerator right away. Meat and poultry that won’t be used in one or two days should be frozen.
  • Use your refrigerator for slow, safe defrosting of meat and poultry.
  • Cooked food should reach safe internal temperature. Whole poultry -180 degrees F; chicken breasts – 170 degrees F;  hamburgers – 160 degrees F;  Beef, veal and lamb steaks – 145 degrees F. All pork – 160 degrees F.
  • Meat thermometer should be cleaned carefully between temperature checks to prevent contamination.
  • During the summer months, food should not sit out at room temperature for more than one hour.
  • When preparing any food, but especially meats, keep all surfaces clean. Frequently wash your hands, cutting boards, counters and utensils. Make sure that the wash cloths and towels that you are using to dry your hands are clean.
  • Never reuse (or serve as relish) marinades that have come in contact with raw meats, chicken or fish.
  • Never place cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat.
  • When preparing meals or recipes that use mayonnaise, refrigerate them as soon as you can, and keep cold until serving.
  • While at the picnic or beach, keep coolers in the shade. Keep lids tightly closed and avoid frequent openings.
  • Use one cooler for drinks and another for food.  This way, the cooler containing perishable foods won’t be opened and closed constantly. Replenish the ice as it melts.
  • If you have spent a long day in the heat, it is best to throw away leftovers. Don’t take chances.

Your best policy is to use common sense. If you are in doubt, be extra careful!