Summer picnics and cookouts are a surefire way to bring everyone together. Taking proper food safety precautions when preparing to dine al fresco will ensure smooth sailing.
Here are some of the FDA’s tips for keeping outdoor dining sanitary and safe:
– Keep coolers organized (to avoid cross-contamination, store raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from drinks, fruits and vegetables), at 40° or lower to maintain freshness and always closed in the shade.
– Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cutting and serving.
– Marinate items for grilling at home and ahead of time, not outdoors.
– Use a food thermometer to make sure that food is cooked completely through and ensure that no contaminants from the grill surface have gotten into the meal.
– Never reuse plates or utensils that have already been eaten off of; use clean plates, knives, forks and spoons each time.
– Cold food should not sit outdoors for any longer than 2 hours if the temperature is 90° For warmer.
– Make sure the cookout site has access to clean, running water and trash cans.
Keeping these safety measures in mind will make for a happy, healthy summer, full of thoroughly cooked hot dogs and perfectly chilled pasta salads.
For more food safety information, visit FDA.gov