Tidbits is a monthly senior food program publication that contains features like healthy eating tips, recipes, and information about food distributions.
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Summer Food Safety Tips
Due to a variety of factors, including warmer temperatures, foodborne illness increases in summer. To help Americans stay healthy and safe, USDA offers the following food safety recommendations.
Bringing food to a picnic or cookout:
Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs.
Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches, summer salads, cut up fruit and vegetables, and perishable dairy products.
A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.
Avoid opening the cooler repeatedly so that your food stays colder longer.
Cooking on the grill:
Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread.
Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook.
Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures: Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time. Ground meats: 160 °F. Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F.
Always use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry to serve.
Serving food outdoors:
Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should not sit out for more than one hour.
Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler. After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served–140 °F or warmer.
Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.
Reprinted in part from USDA.
This content is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed practitioner. Consult with your physician for additional information regarding your needs, and to see if the information in this article is appropriate for you.
Learn more in this month's edition of Tidbits.
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We are now able to sterilize boxes with UV light treatment. Clean boxes may be returned at distributions.
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