Friday, May 22, 2015

Keep Your Food Safe at Your Next Picnic


Memorial Day is a time to have fun with friends and family, but don’t forget to keep food safety in the forefront. Here are a few tips for serving foods outdoors:

KEEP FOODS OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT
Although we are not yet in the dog days of summer, food sitting out in the sun can become unsafe quickly.
Play it safe and don’t put out any food until you are ready to eat. Make sure your buffet area, if outside, is in the shade.

COOK MEATS AND POULTRY TO CORRECT TEMPERATURES
A meat thermometer ensures that those hamburgers and chicken breasts are cooked to the recommended USDA temperatures.
No steak tartare for a Memorial Day picnic. USDA guidelines suggest hamburgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, chicken breasts to 165 degrees.
ICE IT
Place serving dishes containing perishable foods, such as potato salad, in a large bowl of ice to help it stay cool.

NO SERVING PLATE AND TONG MIXING
Make sure those hamburgers and brats are placed on a clean platter after they are cooked. Never reuse the platter that was used to bring the uncooked food to the grill.
And watch your tongs. Clean tongs for chicken. Clean tongs for brats. Bacteria love to travel on those barbecue handlers.

WASH HANDS
It should go without saying, but you really can’t wash your hands enough when working with food. For convenience, keep a container of hand sanitizer handy.

DON’T FORGET LEFTOVERS
Though it might not happen, there may be leftovers. If so, remember the 2-2-4 rule.
Hot, perishable foods that sit out longer than two hours are considered unsafe to eat. The USDA recommends throwing out any such food. After that time, the food is in what is known as the danger zone, where bacteria may rapidly reproduce and contaminate it.
Two inches is the desired depth for storage containers. This allows hot food to cool quickly and evenly.
Four days is the amount of time refrigerated leftovers are safe to eat. Frozen items, wrapped properly, should be consumed within 2 months.


http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/food-safety-tips-for-picnics-b99503644z1-304324101.html