Picnic Food Safety
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Picnic Food Safety

Summertime’s here and you know what that means. It’s the official start of picnic and
grilling season. Unfortunately, as the number of cook-outs increases so do the number of food-borne illnesses. we love the warmer weather but so do the bacteria that make us sick The good news is with just a few simple
tips, you can make your next cookout a safer
one. If I was cooking at home, I’d have access to a sink, a refrigerator and all those things make preparing a safe meal easy. Without those I’m going to have to do a
lot of prep work at home to help avoid cross-contamination, which is the major cause of food-borne illness. When I prep my foods, I like to use a separate cutting board. One for prepping fruits and vegetables
and the other for raw meats. they’re even color-coded if you only have
one cutting board though If you only have
one cutting board though, prep your fruits and veggies first, then
prep your meats last. To be safe, wash your cutting boards any time you switch foods. Be sure to wash your hands before prepping any of your food, but especially after handling raw meat. This will help prevent cross-contamination. OK, The next thing we’re going to talk about is keeping our cold food cold. The goal here is to keep temperature below 40 degrees, that way, harmful bacteria won’t grow. The easiest way to do that is with an insulated cooler. I can use gel packs that I put in the freezer or what most people do is they just buy bagged ice. Now, if I have the luxury of using two coolers, I can use one cooler for my raw meat products, and the other one is for my vegetables and my condiments. But if only have one cooler I have to take extra care to make sure that
my meat doesn’t cross-contaminate my other food. So you might want to wrap it up in a separate bag, just to make sure. OK, we’re ready to go. We kept our prepared foods cool in our refrigerator. Now it’s time to transfer them to our coolers. And again we’re going to make sure that our condiments and our meat are in separate coolers, making sure that we don’t
cross-contaminate, making sure we don’t spill any of our marinade. And if it’s warm outside, don’t leave your
coolers in the car where they can heat up or in the sun. For my drinks, I usually like to put them in a separate cooler on ice. Now that we’re at the picnic site, and while we wait for our fire to get hot, we want to clean off our picnic area and make sure that it’s clean. These come in really handy for
sanitizing things like our picnic table This is really excellent for sanitizing
our hands. It’s grilling time. The most important thing now is we have to make sure that our food cooked to the proper temperatures. Which is why when I cookout, I always bring one of these with me. This is a portable thermometer. This is going to ensure that I cook my
food to the proper temperature. and make sure they’re completely safe. When grilling hamburgers or pork, we want to reach an internal
temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. When grilling chicken breasts and other
whole poultry, we need to reach an internal temperature
of 165 degrees. These look good and they’re ready to go. When I pull my burgers off the grill, I want to make sure sure that I’m using a clean plate, so I don’t cross-contaminate Once cooked, our meat products should not be left out for more than two hours. The same goes for our cold items. All my perishable items need to stay on
ice until they’re ready to serve. The rule is always the same, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Let’s face it, grilled food just tastes
better, but it does present a challenge. Just by following these few food safety tips, you can assure that your next cook-out
is a safe and happy one.

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