Keeping Your Food Safe This Summer
Now that the summer is almost upon us, outdoor cooking and dining will be on everyone’s mind. While it’s exciting to get caught up in the thrills of making sustenance in the sun, it’s important to remember that heat can spoil many foods and thereby lead to unwanted illnesses. Here are some tips for avoiding a summer food meltdown.
Fun and Sun: Cooking While Camping
When cooking in the great outdoors, cold food and clean utensils are necessary. To keep everything chilled, bring bags of both dry and normal ice. Load up at least two tubs for water, one hot and one cold, to ensure maximum cleansing ability.
As far as food is concerned, cut up everything in advance and pack it up (Ziploc bags are great for this) so everything is ready and risk-free in the wilderness. Don’t share utensils or condiments; single-serving bottles are ideal. Upon your return to civilization, throw away all warm leftovers.
A quick reminder to ensure food safety–according to Food Safety.gov, beef, pork, lamp and veal should be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit; ground meats should be cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit; and finally, all poultry (such as chicken) should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Living It Up on the Homefront: Backyard Cooking
Thaw all your meat before you cook it, and make sure to marinate it in the fridge so it doesn’t spoil. Wash all your vegetables and fruits to ensure clean and healthy eating. Keep raw food away from cooked foods, and never let anything (food, hands or utensils) touch the tools that prepared raw meat.
Keep foods cold with coolers and/or bags of ice, and when you’re done with the food, be sure to put it all back in the fridge within two hours. Follow recipes and instructions to the letter to avoid making mistakes. For help with online food recipes, websites like http://food-tales.com/ are easy to find and use.
Keeping Everything Cool and Healthy
Above all else, cooking clean food in a clean space and making sure that food stays cool enough not to spoil will go a long way to guaranteeing a safe and delicious summer for everyone. In other words, use plenty of water and ice! Excellent cooking, wonderful relaxing and delicious eating to all.