Today’s guest post is written by Tayla Lambright, the Cache County Food $ense supervisor. She will be talking about summer food safety. Enjoy!
This time of year is a perfect time to bring out your grills and have a barbecue! It’s also a great time to brush up on safe food practices when we’re cooking outside. It’s important to keep our food safe so we don’t get anyone sick from a food-borne illness. Each year, one in SIX Americans get sick from food borne illnesses and 128,000 of them require hospitalization. Food-borne illnesses are tough on our bodies. They induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, a fever, and have an array of other unpleasant side effects. That doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend your vacation!
Follow these tips and you will decrease the likelihood of getting you or anyone you serve sick=
Keep everything clean –
Especially when you’re not in your home kitchen, it’s important to keep everything from your hands, cutting boards, utensils, and produce clean. Try to wash and sanitize everything before leaving the house and rinse it off under warm water again before cooking. It’s recommended that we wash our hands for 20 seconds with soap under warm running water. Don’t want to count to 20? – then just sing the alphabet song to make sure you’ve washed long enough.
Avoid cross contamination by using different cutting boards for raw meat and fresh produce. Avoiding cross contamination also includes your hands and any other utensil that may come in contact with the raw meat – make sure to wash it thoroughly before touching anything that will be served fresh.
Cook to safe temperatures –
This is especially important when cooking meat to make sure it has been heated to a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria. Don’t forget to check the internal temperatures in the thickest part of the meat after cooking. This ensures that the entire cut was cooked to a safe temperature.
Here are a couple temperatures to remember :
When in doubt – throw it out!
Avoid leaving food out for longer than 1 hour outside and 2 hours inside. Leaving it out in the heat will increase the likelihood of it developing harmful toxins that produce food-borne illnesses. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
During these last few months of warm weather enjoy safe barbecues and outdoor meals. Here are some of my favorite grilled fruit and vegetable recipes. Click the recipe cards for a printable version.