During the warm months of summer the amount of illnesses tend to rise. Those toasty summer days allow for naturally found bacteria to multiply. With a few simple steps you can help reduce your chance of becoming ill, specifically from food borne illness.
Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill. Clean off all of your counters, equipment and utensils before preparing or serving food. Separate your foods before, during and after cooking. Be sure that all raw meats stay separate from any “ready to eat foods.” Cooking out when hosting a summer party is always a good time, just make sure to double check that your foods are fully cooked. For fresh beef, veal, pork and ham the minimum safe cooking temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit and it should rest at this temperature for 3 minutes. Ground meats and poultry require a minimum safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit with no safety resting time. Chilling foods is a large problem for many people. Bringing cooling equipment to a picnic or displaying it on a table is not too common. However it is important to keep cold things cold and to not leave cooked meats at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep your lunchmeats and potato salads in an insulated cooler or put them on ice. All of these tips will help you reduce your chances of food borne illnesses this summer so you can get out of the house and into sun!