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July 12, 2012

Summer Food Safety Tips - Stay Safe in the Hot Weather!

As summer and this hot weather continues, it is important to keep food safety in mind. Warm weather means more opportunities for food borne illnesses to develop. Below are some tips that will keep you safe and healthy this summer:

Drink enough water! In warmer weather, your body needs more fluids. Water is the best choice for staying well hydrated!

Put food in the fridge as soon as you can. Hot days can cause food to become unsafe much more quickly than at other times of the year.

Always marinate or thaw food in the fridge or in the microwave. Do NOT thaw food on the counter, because germs can grow and make you sick.

Keep cold foods cold! If taking food outside, use an insulated cooler and enough ice packs to keep food below 40 °F.

Keep hot foods hot! Push grilled meats to the edge of the grill or in a warm oven to keep hot foods over 140 °F.

Never re-use marinades that were on raw food, unless you boil them first. Germs from raw meats linger in marinades and can infect food that you have already cooked if marinades are re-used.

Make sure any raw meat, poultry, or seafood that you cook on the grill is well done. Use a thermometer to make sure your food is safe!

Put cooked food on clean plates! Never reuse dirty dishes that had raw meats on them without cleaning them well with hot, soapy water.

If you make iced tea or lemonade, it’s safest to use bottled water, filtered water, or to boil tap water. Make sure you follow the same rule for your ice cubes.

Be safe with leftovers. Any food left at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown out. If it is hotter than 90°F, throw food away if it is left out longer than 1 hour.

For more information regarding food safety, check out the USDA’s food safety website:

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