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Food Safety Tips For Your Summertime Get-Togethers

In the warm weather, you go to outdoor barbecues and picnics, eat outside more, and entertain outdoors at the beach or parks. But while summer fun may be on the horizon, you'll need to take steps to protect your health.

Food safety is important to prevent illness and make your eating experience enjoyable. During 2008, over 3,200 products were recalled. Contaminated food products and foods lead to foodborne illness in one out of six people. In this article, we will discuss food safety tips for handling meat, preparing and packing food for the beach or park, keeping uncooked food safe, cold and hot temperature use, serving drinks and food, and preparing fruits and vegetables.

Know How to Cooking Meats, Seafood, and Poultry

Whether you cook meat, poultry, and seafood inside on the stove or outside on the grill, following these safety tips will prevent illness. Defrost frozen foods safely in the refrigerator or use the microwave defrost function. Never leave raw meat or fish in the sink to defrost. When you marinate meats, poultry, or seafood for cooking, put them in a container and keep them in the refrigerator fr 12 to 24 hours. Before you cook the food, discard the marinade and heat the oven or grill to the right temperature. Put cooked food on a clean plate and serve immediately. Prepare any sauces or dips separately and keep refrigerated or warm when serving. You should use a meat thermometer when cooking food to make sure it reaches a safe internal temperature for eating.

Wash your cutting board off with warm soap and water after handling meats, seafood, and poultry. Buy two cutting boards and prepare meat, poultry, and fruits and vegetable on different boards. Precooking in the oven or microwave cuts time on grilling and can ensure foods are thoroughly cooked through. Since 42% of people who buy vacation homes use their property for vacations and entertaining, you'll ace your next family get-together if you follow these tips.

Properly Pack and Prepare

When preparing foods for an outdoor excursion at the beach or park, always practice safety. You should invest in a cooler and ice packs to keep food cold and stored properly. Cook raw foods within an hour or two of arrival and do not leave meats and raw poultry in the cooler for several hours. Prepare cold lemonade, water, or beverages and keep cold in a separate cooler. Make salads using oil and vinegar or lemon juice and leave the mayonnaise and eggs at home. These items tend to spoil quickly.

Cook chicken ahead, refrigerate, and serve cold. Pack food in containers with lids and leave out for only one hour or less. Put everything back in the cooler after eating. Bring sanitary wipes with you to wipe tables and to use on your hands after eating. When you're eating on picnic tables at a park use a disposable plastic table cloth. Throw out leftovers that have been sitting out too long after picnics and parties.

Learn How to Handle Fresh Produce and Dairy

Rinse off fresh fruits and vegetables in a colander and prepare before packing or serving to avoid bacteria. Clean fruits and vegetables with skins with a brush and soak in water for 15 minutes or more. Afterward, dry the fruits and vegetables with a clean paper towel. When cooking on the grill, keep grilled food hot by wrapping it in foil and moving to the side of the grill. This keeps food warm but does not overcook it. Always clean the utensils you use for cooking and serving food.

Serving coffee or tea with cream or milk can be a problem in the warmer weather. Americans consume about 3.2 cups of coffee per day. Store your milk in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf in the back or in the middle of the shelf this will keep it colder. When you serve coffee, serve it at the end of the meal and pour the milk into a container with a lid. Leave milk or creamer out for only half an hour, at most, and return to the refrigerator or cooler. For picnics where milk will sit out for long periods of time, use powdered milk for coffee or tea instead.

Food safety is important in warm weather to keep your family and guests safe. Practicing food safety will ensure you and your guest will enjoy the celebrations and times you spend together during the summertime.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com