Ever REALLY wondered the safest way to package lunch for camp? When exactly should you take that steak off the grill? Learn the do’s and don’ts for cooking outdoors, storing food safely and enjoying outside dining in the warm weather.
As the temperature rises, so does the potential of bacterial growth and contamination to affect one’s food. More barbeques, pool parties, eventful days at camp, and outside dining activities present environments one could be at risk for developing a food-born illness. Outdoor summertime meals can make for a splendid and scenic time; just make sure to keep in mind some of these facts to ensure food safety throughout the season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Foodborne illnesses increase in the summertime because bacteria has the ability to multiply faster when the temperature is warmer. Dining in warmer weather involves cooking and eating away from refrigerators and washing facilities too. This creates a less clean environment for food to become contaminated.
One cannot actually tell if a burger is safe and ready to eat from length it been on the grill or its appearance. No matter the amount of pinkness or charcoal, a thermometer should be inserted into the burger and read at least 160 degrees fahrenheit to be safe.
For grilling, it is important to keep raw foods completely separate from cooked foods. Raw meat and raw juices can still contaminate anything cooked when in close proximities of one another. Make sure separate plates are designated to each of these meats while using the grill.
Never leave food out for consumption later in room temperature because bacteria will increase. When having a party prepare salsa, guac, dips, etc. at the time of the event. The contents can easily spoil if left out for even a couple hours beforehand.
Always marinate food in the refrigerator, especially in warmer weather.
Simply rinsing does not give produce the sufficient cleaning they need. One should always use a brush to scrub fruits and vegetables after soaking them with cold water.
Use an insulated, soft-sided lunch tote to carry Yumbox to ensure that perishable food items are continuously chilled throughout the day.
Make sure a cold source is always packed inside lunch bag. This can include an ice pack, frozen gel back, or even a frozen juice box. TIP: Make sure to read directions before purchasing cooling materials. Some gel packs only suffice for half the day.
Simply placing hot foods in a thermos does not ensure their temperature. For keeping them warm, one must fill insulated bottle with boiling water, let it stand for a a few minutes, empty, then fill this thermos with the hot food.
Inform children about efforts toward safe eating environment. This includes instructions on how to dispose of used food packaging and perishable leftovers and notifications to never leave food in direct sunlight or near radiators.
Never reuse plastic bags as this can lead to contamination and foodborne illness.
TIP: Always keep a pocket-sized hand sanitizer or moist antibacterial towelette in lunch bag for use before and after eating.
Keep all these things in mind this summer to ensure you’re dining safely in the summer sun!