Nice summer weather means a lot of people will be having outdoor barbecues, picnics, and pot lucks. These can be great fun, but extra precautions should be taken to combat foodborne illness that can spoil the entire event. Now is a good time to review what you can do this summer to ensure food safety:
- Remember, the "two hour rule" changes to the "one hour rule" when temperatures creep up above 90 degrees F. You should not allow food to sit out at room temperature for longer than one hour. Hot temperatures are just right for allowing the bacteria in food to multiply to numbers that could make people sick. This includes foods on picnic tables, buffet lines at family reunions, and bag lunches.
- When doing errands, make the grocery store your last stop. Pick up frozen and refrigerated foods just before you hit the checkout lines.
- If you're going to a farmers' market, farm stand, or pick-you-own field, take a cooler along too. Don't store fresh produce in the trunk of your car.
- Don't get careless with picnics and other outdoor food events. Unless you are absolutely sure about the safety of the food, throw away any leftovers.
Department of Health