August 5, 2010
- ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS ON ST MARY'S MACARONI KID
- Hiccups Along the Way
- St Mary's Parks, Pools, Playgrounds, Programs
- What To Do With Kids In Washington, DC?
- This Week's Picks
- This Week's Calendar
- Plan Ahead
- Calling All Saving Savy Moms (and Dads)
- FREE OUTDOOR MOVIES THIS SUMMER
- Military Macaroni - Child & Youth Programs
- Military Macaroni - Fitness & Sports Events & Sked
- Military Macaroni - Tickets, Tours & Movies
- Safe and Tasty Eating for Summer
- St Mary's College River Concert Series
- St Mary's Macaroni Kid
- Summer Library Fun!
- The Fairies Have Landed at Annmarie Garden
Cookouts, picnics, barbeques, tailgating and campouts ... summer time is the time for outdoor dining. So many yummy treats and dishes but how do you know what you eat is safe? How long has the macaroni salad sat in the sun? Is that grilled chicken cooked all the way through? Here are a few tips from the USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service that will help you make the most of your outdoor meal.
"The safety controls that a kitchen provides — thermostat-controlled cooking, refrigeration, and washing facilities — are usually not available." when it comes to summertime outdoor dining.
"Fortunately, people seldom get sick from contaminated food because most people have a healthy immune system that protects them not only from harmful bacteria on food, but from other harmful organisms in the environment. At the same time, FSIS, other government agencies, and food producers go to great lengths to keep food safe. And, of course, consumers can protect themselves at home with proper refrigeration and thorough cooking of perishable food.
We know foodborne illness increases in warm weather. We also know that consumers can Fight BAC!® by following these four simple steps to safer food in the summertime.
Clean: Wash Hands and Surfaces Often.
Unwashed hands are a prime cause of foodborne illness.
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
- When eating away from home, find out if there's a source of potable (safe drinking) water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean, wet, disposable washcloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.
Separate: Don't Cross-Contaminate.
Cross-contamination during preparation, grilling, and serving food is a prime cause of foodborne illness.
- When packing the cooler chest for an outing, wrap raw meats securely; avoid raw meat juices from coming in contact with ready-to-eat food.
- Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held the raw meat or poultry before using again for cooked food.
Cook: Cook to Proper Temperatures.
Food safety experts agree that food is safely cooked when it is heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness.
- Take your thermometer along. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside, so be sure that meats are cooked thoroughly. Check them with a food thermometer.
- Cook beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts, and chops to a safe minimum internal temperature of 145 °F. Cook steaks and roasts that have been tenderized, boned, rolled, etc., to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
- Cook all cuts of pork to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
- Cook ground beef, veal and lamb an internal temperature of 160 °F.
- All poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product.
- Cook meat and poultry completely at the picnic site. Partial cooking of food ahead of time allows bacteria to survive and multiply to the point that subsequent cooking cannot destroy them.
Chill: Refrigerate Promptly.
Holding food at an unsafe temperature is a prime cause of foodborne illness. Keep cold food cold!
- Cold refrigerated perishable food like luncheon meats, cooked meats, chicken, and potato or pasta salads should be kept in an insulated cooler packed with several inches of ice, ice packs, or containers of frozen water.
- Consider packing canned beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another cooler because the beverage cooler will probably be opened frequently.
- Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car, and place in the shade or shelter, out of the sun, whenever possible.
- Preserve the cold temperature of the cooler by replenishing the ice as soon as it starts melting.
- If a cooler chest is not an option, consider taking fruits, vegetables, hard cheeses, canned or dried meats, dried cereal, bread, peanut butter, crackers, and a bottle of refreshing beverage.
- Take-out food: If you don't plan to eat take-out food within 2 hours of purchase, plan ahead and chill the food in your refrigerator before packing for your outing.
Food left out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours may not be safe to eat. Above 90 °F, food should not be left out over 1 hour. Play it safe; put leftover perishables back on ice once you finish eating so they do not spoil or become unsafe to eat.
If you have any doubts, throw it out."
For more information go to http://www.fightbac.org/ currently featuring summer food safety resources as well as Kid Pages.
© 2013 Macaroni Kid, LLC