Archive | July 6, 2012

Have a Safe Summer Cook-out – Keep Your Food Safe!

By: Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Its summer and it is time for vacations and get-togethers with family and friends.  With soaring temperatures, it is more important than ever to keep food safety in mind when planning that outdoor barbecue, pool party or day at Lake Murray.

So as you head outside, remember to:

  • Wash the grill and wash you hands before you start preparing and cooking food.  Bring moist towelettes or waterless hand sanitizer outside for everyone to use.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by washing tongs and other cooking utensils that touch raw meat before using them to remove cooked meat and other foods from the grill.
  • Don’t end up with undercooked meat by relying on your vision to determine if meat is cooked. Use a food thermometer.  Cook hamburgers to an internal temperature of 160° F and chicken breasts and legs to 165°F.
  • It is hot out there!  Don’t let food sit out for more than one hour in 90° or above temperatures.  Use a cooler filled ¼ full of ice or ice packs to promptly store foods after they are served.  Pay close attention to mayonnaise-based salads like egg, potato, and tuna salads.
  • Don’t use ice that was in a cooler keeping food cold in a beverage.  Ice may pick up bacteria from leaking food containers.

Enjoy your summer get-togethers, but also take a little extra time to plan how you will keep your food safe in this famous South Carolina heat.  By doing so, you will ensure everyone has a great day out!