Summer Food Safety

Family picnics and BBQ’s can be fun ways to enjoy the nice summer weather, but there are a few things to look out for before serving dinner.

Summer food safety can be easily over looked when distracted by family members or perfect weekend weather but it doesn’t take long to ensure the food everyone will be eating is safe. “three things that we would ask people to do to make sure they have a safe summer with food would be to make sure they are cooking food to the proper temperature, make sure they’re holding food at proper temperature, and then prevent cross contamination.” Says Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department Sanitarian, Matt Hemmer.

Not a lot of people use a meat thermometer, but it can be the most important tool to take along to a summer BBQ since under- cooked meat and poultry can cause illness. “For a picnic or long event our recommendation would be to have a mechanism to keep either foods cold or hot. Our rule of thumb is if the food is out of temperature for over four hours should be discarded” Says Hemmer.

Health Department officials also advise washing utensils and plates that once had raw food on them, before using them again once the food has been fully cooked to avoid the transfer of bacteria.

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