Who’s ready for a happy healthy and safe July 4th? I know I am. One of the things I am most freakish about in summer is food safety. Eating that delicious “something that may have sat out too long” is just not worth it to me. I have seen so many friends and family members suffer from food poisoning and see the long term effects, like loss of love for favorite foods and days of illness, and they just aren’t worth it.
Here are some great food safety tips I practice and highly encourage each one of you to practice too-from summer BBQ to winter meal prep, these tips are relevant all year ’round.
- Use a meat thermometer. Hey you. I see you on the other side of this screen cringing and shaking your head. You KNOW when your meat is cooked, don’t you?. I bet you do. But what if…what if it isn’t really done and someone or many some ones get sick? Would you still be shaking your head? No. Using that itty bitty little thermometer doesn’t question that you “got skillz”. No, in fact it just means you are being safe for every one you are feeding.
- While we are talking meat, where did you thaw or marinate that meat? Please oh please tell me not the counter. Thawing and marinating on the counter is so yesterday and not a safe way to prepare the meat. Make sure you use a clean plate for your cooked meat instead of reusing the raw meat platter.
- Clean and separate cutting boards. Prepare your produce and meat on separate cutting boards. I know you’re short on time and maybe it’s all going to get cooked anyway but really, how many times have you cooked a veggie and thought “No worries. No risk of sickness here.”? Yeah, icky meat bacteria might be lurking on that luscious slice of eggplant. While you are at it, take a minute to wash that cutting board.
- How long has your food been sitting out? Hot food, cold foods, don’t let them sit. 2 hours is the max they should sit out.
- Add serving spoons to dip. Discourage “dip and eat” and that accidental double dip. Eeeeeeeww! Less contamination means less risk of bacteria.
- Check out FoodSafety.gov. For these food safety tips and many more, check it out. You can never play it too safe with food safety.
For more great tips follow #FoodSafe4th on Twitter, June 30th at 1 PM EST. Twitter Party Hosts include: @martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety.
Disclosure: This post was made possible through the support of Element Associates. All opinions are my own.