While it may be questionable what our summer gatherings may look like, one thing that remains the same is being diligent on keeping our food safe during these hotter days. Whether you have cookouts and picnics with just your immediate family or head out to a small get together, the foods we are serving and eating require special attention to prevent foodborne illness or sickness during the summer.  

Some quick ideas for keeping our food safe include: 

  • Always have a thermometer available to temp the foods on your grill to ensure the internal temperature is appropriate.
  • Place chilled foods in an ice bath to keep the temperature in range. After serving the food, do not leave it out for an extended period. One hour is the acceptable time limit for keeping these foods out. Discard any foods left out for longer than that time. 
  • Always wash the outside of any fruit for slicing, including melon. Not cleaning the exterior of these items increases the risk of transferring harmful bacteria to the fruit inside.
  • Never re-use a marinade. Be sure to discard marinades after use to prevent the raw juices from contaminating cooked foods. 
  • Always keep raw foods and cooked foods separate to prevent cross-contamination. 

Find more ideas on how to have a food-safe event in any season here

Rebecca Herrmann, RDN, LDN

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