Summertime means you have more time to spend outside traveling to different places and BBQ’in. It is also the time of year where the number of food poisoning cases spike. You don’t have to give up going to your favorite restaurants in order to avoid this condition. Here are some food safety tips you can use to ensure that all food you eat has been handled properly.
Stock Up on the Right Equipment
Bacteria breeds faster when it is hotter and warmer outside. If you plan to eat your food outside, you should make sure that you have the necessary equipment to keep all of your foods at the right temperatures. Coolers can help to keep everything cool and warming pans can be used to keep your cooked foods hot. You may need to experiment with several types of coolers and warming appliances to find the ones that are easiest for you to use. You should also use insulated food storage containers to keep your foods safe while you are away from your home.
Never Cook Without a Thermometer
Even if you are no amateur, you should always use a thermometer to check the temperature of everything you cook on the grill. Since the flames from the grill can cook the outside of your meats a lot faster than the inside, you shouldn’t use your foods appearance to determine when it is done. Insert the thermometer into the middle of the meat and away from any bones to find out if it is done.
Don’t Leave Anything Out
Even if you are having a party or a BBQ, you should not leave any food or perishable items out longer than two hours. If it’s really hot outside, you should not leave your food out longer than a half an hour. Food that is left to sit at room temperature for too long can become a breeding ground for bacteria and potentially make everyone sick.
Avoid Cross Contamination
Even though you intend to cook all meats and veggies on the same grill, you need to take some precautions to avoid cross contamination. Keep your raw meat away from meat and other foods that are partially or completely cooked. Use separate utensils for raw meat and cooked foods. Wear gloves when you are touching raw food and don’t forget to sanitize any surfaces where your uncooked meats have been.
Defrost in the Refrigerator
Don’t leave frozen foods, especially meats to unthaw at room temperature. Instead, place your frozen meats in the refrigerator a few days before you plan to cook them to defrost them safely.
Clean All Produce
The fruits and veggies you purchase from the store should be washed in cool water before you cook or eat them. You can even add a small amount of apple cider vinegar or food grade peroxide in the water as well. This helps to remove dirt, germs, bacteria, and other potentially dangerous substances to prevent food poisoning.
Put Cooked Foods Up ASAP
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until your hot foods completely cool off before you place them in the refrigerator. You can safely place them in the refrigerator for storage as soon as you no longer see any steam rising from them.
Add a Variety
Even though it is BBQ season, you don’t have to resort to cooking food on the grill. Hamptoncreek offers an impressive selection of sustainable foods that are easier to prepare and store. There are also other types of foods you can use to add more variety without taking away from mood like dried nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Don’t Cook While Sick
If you are slightly under the weather, dealing with hay fever or feeling slightly out of sorts, have someone else do the cooking. Cooking when you are not feeling 100 percent or when you fighting an infection that involves you losing body fluids can lead to food contamination and increase the chances of you, your family, and your guests suffering from food poisoning.
It is vitally important for you to take special care when preparing, cooking and storing your foods during the summer. Even if you are at home, these safety tips can help to keep you from experiencing any of the symptoms that often come from eating foods that have become overridden with bacteria and other harmful germs. If you are not sure about how long something has been out or if it has come in contact with raw meat juice, toss it out to be safe.