By Rachel Sanders, MPH, RD, Campus Dietitian & Caitlin Cammack, Nutrition Intern
Summer vacations, lazy afternoons by the pool, and sunshine! Most everyone is a fan of of summer and the events that come along with the season. Barbeques, camping trips, pot lucks, weddings, showers, and parties are full of fun food that brings us all together and provides wonderful memories that last a lifetime. It’s so important to stay mindful of food safety so that you keep those not so pleasant memories (like food poisoning!) at bay. Through this post, I want to quickly provide some tips to keep you safe this summer!
First, remember you should eat foods only from people you can trust. There are many factors to consider. Did they wash their hands? Did they use a different knife for the veggies and meat? You could get extremely sick if you eat risky food or food that you do not trust. “Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness can include: vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain – and flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body ache” (“Safe Food Handling”).
Summer’s extreme temperatures can rig havoc on food’s safety. The USDA defines the “danger zone” in which bacteria grow most rapidly: between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also recommended to consumers to never leave food out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than 1 hour (“How Temperatures Affect Food”).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides a few simple words that might just save you and your loved ones safe from food hazards this summer: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Visit the FDA’s site at http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-basics/the-core-four-practices/ for more information & the a complete listing of food temperatures to remember when grilling.
Have a fun and food safe summer!
Buy, Store & Serve Safe Food. (n.d.). Retrieved May 8, 2018, from https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm255180.htm
How Temperatures Affect Food. (n.d.). Retrieved May 8, 2018, from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/How_Temperatures_Affect_Food.pdf