Beach and camping time is here! Which means lots of fun and great food outdoors. The sunny days of summer bring hot temperatures and an increased risk of food poisoning. Before you pack your cooler for the beach or that outdoor adventure remember theses food safety tips.
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN
Bring moist towelettes or soap and water to clean your hands and surfaces often. Also make sure your cooler is clean.
KEEP FOODS SEPARATE
Keep raw meats, poultry, eggs, seafood and ready to eat foods separate. Bring extra plates- one for handling raw foods and another for cooked foods to prevent cross contamination.
REFRIGERATE FOODS PROMPTLY BELOW 40 DEGREES
Pack food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs to keep the temp below 40 degrees.
Make sure that the food is cold when you put it in the cooler. If you have frozen items put them in the cooler frozen and they will help to keep the other foods cold.
HANDLE LEFTOVERS PROMPTLY
Put perishable foods back in the cooler as soon as you finish eating. Don’t leave them out to nibble on all afternoon. Don’t forget to unpack the cooler as soon as you arrive home. Cold foods kept in a cooler that still has ice may be safe. However, if the ice has melted and the temperature has risen, throw out the food. Cold water cannot keep foods cold enough to be safe.
Enjoy those picnics, beach days and campouts with some peradventure food safety planning. And remember if you have questions about food safety or food borne illness contact your healthcare provider immediately.