Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season and is usually spent outside enjoying the nice weather. Picnics and barbeques are common during this holiday weekend, but you don’t want to make your holiday memorable by getting food poisoning. With the recent outbreak of E.coli in romaine lettuce take the necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe during the holiday weekend and summer.
A good way to make sure you don’t get food poisoning is by making sure your food is grilled like a P.R.O!
- P= Place the Thermometer! Place the food thermometer into the thickest part of the meat
- R= Read the Temp! Wait about 10-20 seconds for the temperature to be accurately displayed. Foods must reach the safe internal temperatures for safety (typically 140◦ F or above)
- O= Off the Grill! Once the meat is at a safe temperature, take it off the grill.
- Now for cold food you want to make sure you avoid the Danger Zone! The Danger Zone is the temperature range in which bacteria can grow faster, between 41°F and 135°F. To stay clear of the Danger Zone make sure you keep cold food at or below 41◦ F by keeping the food in a refrigerator, in coolers, or on ice. Also, limit the time coolers are open and do not leave the coolers in direct sunlight
General food safety tips include:
- Wash your hands and surfaces often. Germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen. Wash your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water.
- Do not cross-contaminate food preparation areas. Use separate cutting boards and plates for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Food poisoning occurs when you eat poorly handled food that can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, or other substances. The symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, fever, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms can occur hours after eating the contaminated food and can last for serval hours or even days. If you have symptoms of food poisoning, you should contact your healthcare provider. For more information visit, https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/keep-food-safe.html