With the summer in full swing, many of us are grilling out, hosting or attending BBQ parties, camping and having picnics. We love to grill out and make homemade burgers during the summer months but often a burger may appear to be cooked through, but the only way to make sure is to test the internal temperature.
Join the Twitter Party on June 30th at 1 PM EST using hashtag #FoodSafe4th. Hosts include: @martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety. Share tips, recipes and interact with participants.
Want to know more? Visit FoodSafety.gov to learn about best food safety practices, utilize “Ask Karen,” an online database with nearly 1,500 answers to specific questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses, in both English and Spanish, or to call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. You can also check out the USDA’s tips for Safe Grilling
Top Tips for Healthy Summer Picnics and Camping Trips
Bring water for cleaning if none will be available at the picnic or camping site. Pack clean, wet, disposable cloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.
Carry cold perishable food like raw hamburger patties, sausages, and chicken in an insulated cooler packed with several inches of ice, frozen gel packs, or containers of ice.
Be sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely to prevent their juices from cross-contaminating ready-to-eat food. If possible, store these foods near the bottom of the cooler, so that juices don’t contaminate other foods in the cooler.
If you can’t keep hot food hot during the drive to your location, plan and chill the food in the refrigerator before packing it in a cooler. Reheat the food to 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
A general rule of thumb for entertaining: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keep cold foods chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and hot foods heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
The two-hour rule is also in effect: food should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. If bringing hot take-out food (like chicken fingers, wings etc.), eat it within 2 hours of purchase (1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F).
Instead of using large serving bowls, serve dips and items with dairy in smaller containers. Make several in advance and keep them chilled in the refrigerator or coolers until you need them.
Offer serving spoons and small plates to reduce opportunity for guests to eat items like dip and guacamole directly from the serving container (double-dipping is a no-no and can increase the chances for food contamination).
Wishing you all a happy and safe 4th of July and summer!