Tis’ the season for summer grilling and picnics at the park. But we have to remember to keep ourselves safe from foodborne illness as the temperatures rise. Consider the following food for thought as you plan your summer outings.
1. Check the forecast.
If temperatures are above 90 degrees, be sure to get those perishable foods back on ice within one hour (two hours if below 90 degrees).
2. Come clean.
Bring a jug of water with you if your picnic spot doesn’t have clean running water. Clean your hands and before prepping your food and after handling raw meat. Wash utensils, counters and cutting boards with hot, soapy water.
3. Keep your cool.
Use an insulated cooler with ice, ice packs or partially frozen items to keep food at 40 degrees or cooler.
4. Pack smart.
Keep separate coolers for food and drinks. The drinks cooler will likely be opened over and over as drinks are pulled out. Keep your food as cold as possible until you’re ready to cook by keeping that cooler closed. Pack two platters—one for raw meat and one for cooked meat.
5. Use a thermometer.
Don't rely on the color of meat to judge when it's cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature.