Independence Day is one of the best summer holidays and is highly anticipated every year. Friends and families fill the backyard and gather around picnic tables to enjoy burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, and other signature foods. Many times, these gatherings are held outdoors. Buffet lines of cookout food items are left out for everyone to enjoy, but without following certain food safety tips, the day can be ruined by a food borne illness.
Before handling any food, wash your hands. After handling raw meats, be sure to wash your hands again.
Rinse fruits and vegetables with water before serving or consuming.
Clean all surfaces where you will be preparing food.
Prepare your meats separate from your vegetables or other foods.
Eliminate cross-contamination by using different utensils, platters, or cutting boards for raw foods and cooked foods.
When preparing frozen foods, follow proper thawing techniques to ensure the food is safe from bacteria.
Always marinate meats in the refrigerator.
When you are preparing meats, use a food thermometer to ensure that it is cooked to the proper internal temperature to ensure food borne pathogens are eliminated.
Refrigerate or freeze your leftovers immediately. In temperatures 90 degrees or higher, food should not be left out longer than one hour. Any food left out over two hours should be discarded, as bacterial growth increases every half hour.
Keeping those tips in mind can prevent your holiday from being ruined by food poisoning or other illnesses.
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Have a happy Fourth of July!