Summer Food Safety
Given all the food safety warnings I've heard over the years, I can be a little neurotic. At a recent photo shoot, I practically gasped when I saw another editor packing up salmon and salad for dinner. Didn't she know it had been sitting out on the table, unrefrigerated for hours, accumulating bacteria?! Same goes for leftovers that are sitting in the fridge for close to a week. If it's been more than two or three days, I'm generally too nervous to touch them.
Food safety experts will tell you that my nervousness is warranted, because food poisoning is pretty common—it's just not always severe. (Of course it can beverysevere and may even land you in the hospital, but many of us just experience an upset tummy and don't realize that it was caused by something we ate the day before.) Summertime makes me extra concerned, since there are so many opportunities to eat outdoors. Some smart tips to adhere to when heading for a BBQ or picnic:
â¢Don't cook and serve with the same utensils. That means if you're using tongs to pick up raw meat and place it on the grill, don't put those same (unwashed) tongs out on a platter of cooked burgers.
â¢Keep foods that are normally refrigerated chilled. That may mean tossing an ice pack in your backpack or picnic basket to ensure that your macaroni salad stays fresh until you're ready to eat it.
â¢Don't leave leftovers lying around for more than 2 hours. This goes for indoor eating, too. So if leftover pizza has been sitting out on the counter for more than 2 hours, you have to toss it. And if you're outside and it's hot out (over 90 °F), you only get 1 hour to get those leftovers into the fridge.
Video: Keep Food Out of Temperature Danger Zone
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