Monday, June 11, 2018

With picnic and barbeque season in full swing, it is important to understand safe food handling to help keep you and your family safe. As the temperature increases, the chances for food-borne illnesses to occur also increases.  Below are simple ways to ensure that you are practicing safe food handing.

Pack and Transport

-Always keep cold food cold. Make sure the cooler is filled with enough ice or ice packs to keep food at 40 degrees or below. If packing meat or poultry, try and pack frozen to ensure that they stay colder longer. Try and keep your cooler out of direct sunlight.

-Pack beverages and perishable items in separate coolers. This will help keep the perishable items from being exposed to warm air when someone needs to open the cooler for a beverage.

-Avoid cross-contamination. Make sure that all meat, poultry and seafood are wrapped securely.  This will help juices from contaminating prepared/cooked foods or items that will be consumed raw. Always pack meat, poultry and seafood at the bottom of the cooler.

-Always have a separate cooler designated for ice that is to be use for beverages. Never re-use ice from a cooler that was used for perishable or uncooked items.  Include a scoop to ensure that the ice is not contaminated with bacteria from your hands. 

Safe Grilling Tips

-Cook all food thoroughly. Always have your food thermometer available.Below are safe cooking temperatures.

                -Whole poultry, poultry breast and ground poultry: 165 degrees

                -Ground meats: 160 degrees

                -Beef, pork or veal: 145 degrees with 3minute rest time

                -Fin Fish: 145 degrees


-Don’t reuse platters or utensils. Never use items that have touched raw meat or poultry as it contains bacteria from the raw food that will spread to cooked food. Have a clean platter and tongs available to serve cooked food items.

-Keep hot food hot. Grilled food can be set on the side of the grill rack not directly over the coals.

 Serving Food Outdoors

-Perishable food should be kept cold until ready to serve.They should not sit out more than 2hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, food should never be set out more than 1 hour.

-Serve cold food in small portions. You could also serve perishable items such as deserts and fresh cut fruit over an ice bath.

Hand Washing

-Always have a handwashing station available especially if handing raw meat, poultry or seafood.

-You can use a water jug with hand soap and paper towels or disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands.


Aisa Trice MS, RD/LD