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Summer Food Safety Tips

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  • Can I use the same platter for my cooked meat as the one I used before grilling?

    Never put cooked meat, chicken or fish on the same platter that was used for raw food until the platter has been thoroughly washed with soap and very hot water. This will help prevent bacteria from contaminating the serving platter and recontaminating the cooked meat.

  • Do you have a checklist of useful items for a picnic lunch?

    Here is a list of suggested items to pack: 

    • Picnic blanket
    • Tablecloth
    • Plates
    • Glasses
    • Eating and serving utensils
    • Napkins
    • Salt & pepper
    • Paring or other small knife
    • Instant read thermometer
    • Aluminum foil
    • Plastic wrap
    • Paper towel roll
    • Disposable moist towelettes
    • Damp kitchen towel packed in a resealable plastic bag
    • Bottle opener
    • Plastic trash bags for easy cleanup
    • Insect repellent
    • Sun screen

  • How can I keep food safe on a very sunny day?

    You should never allow food to sit in the sun. It is best left in the refrigerator or a cooler until grilling or serving time. Remove your food from an ice chest only when you need it. Never unpack your entire meal and leave it in the sun.

  • How can I tell when grilled foods are cooked?

    You should always check to make sure grilled foods are done. They often appear fully cooked before they actually are. It is best to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, especially hamburgers.

  • How do I pack for an outdoor picnic or other eating occasion?

    When packing for outdoor dining, chill foods before packing on ice. Freeze fruit drinks or water in plastic containers. These containers will help keep the food cool while providing drinks for your outing.

  • On our last picnic, the sandwiches and salad were soggy! How can I prevent this next time?

    For fresher tasting sandwiches, try packing sandwich ingredients in separate containers stored on ice until ready to serve. You can do the same for many salads. Store washed and dried salad greens and dressing in separate containers and combine just before serving.

  • What's the best way to pack a cooler?

    If possible, pack the food you plan to eat first on top with other items below. This way, you can keep the cooler closed more often so foods stay at the right temperature for longer periods of time. Also, be careful not to crowd perishable goods. This allows for good air circulation. Use ice packs or solid blocks of ice to keep foods cold. They last longer than ice cubes. Finally, make sure your cooler has a tight-fitting lid.

  • When I entertain on our deck, the food often looks unappealing after a few hours? How can I keep it

    When entertaining outdoors, keep party food on ice or refresh it throughout the gathering from platters of food kept in the refrigerator. When entertaining on a boat or at a picnic, pack smaller servings of your various dishes. Refresh the serving table throughout the event as necessary.