Summer months typically see a rise in reports of foodborne illness. With one in every six Americans getting sick from food poisoning every year and 128,000 estimated annual hospitalizations from foodborne illnesses, make sure you are taking all of the necessary steps to stay healthy and enjoy your summer.
Clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water. During the Summer, many of us are at BBQs or picnics where water may not be available for cleaning. It’s always good to carry moist towelettes as an alternative to use when eating outdoors.
Remember to separate your plates and utensils. Never put cooked foods on the same plate where raw foods were kept. Make sure to use separate utensils and plates for raw/cooked meats and ready to eat items, such as fruits or vegetables.
Know the FDA Recommended cooking temperatures and make sure to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food, while cooking. With food, never go by looks alone. While what you are cooking may appear to be “done” and safe to eat, the internal temperature of the food may not be in the acceptable “safe” range.
After cooking, make sure that you promptly chill any raw and prepared foods that are not being consumed. Never leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours. If it’s above 90 degrees, don’t leave any food out for more than an hour. When planning a picnic, make sure that all perishable foods are kept in a cooler with ice or ice packs.
Be safe and avoid foodborne illness by remembering and utilizing the above tips. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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