With summer is fast approaching, its time to review a few food safety tips for the warm weather to prevent foodborne illnesses
Warm weather is fast approaching, but this also means it is peak season for food poisoning cases. While many in the United States are still recovering in the wake of Winter Storm Uri, already temperatures in midwestern and southern American states have reached highs of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illnesses often increase noticeably during the warm summer months. The spike is due to bacteria thriving off higher temperatures.
However, as one National Food Poisoning Lawyer has stated,
“Foodborne illnesses are often the result of increases in seasonal temperatures, leading to the rapid multiplication of bacteria. As summer approaches, Americans can prevent food poisoning by following a few simple, precautionary steps.”
According to Simon, first of all, when handling perishable food when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it should always be refrigerated within the hour of being purchased, served, or displayed. After that time it is not safe to eat and should be discarded.
Secondly, while marinades are commonly used on special occasions during the summer season, many individuals make the mistake of re-using marinades. Cross-contamination is likely when re-using marinades, especially when used first on raw meat products, and then on grilled or cooked meat. Also be sure to separate raw and cooked burgers, chicken, steak or hot dogs, as well as the utensils and platters used on the afore-mentioned meats, to prevent foodborne bacteria.
Thirdly, always properly washing of hands as a vital step to prevent any illness. To do so correctly, lather antibacterial or regular soap on hands after wetting them, rub thoroughly, and rinse clean after scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
As an extra precaution, the CDC recommends washing all of that beautiful summer produce thoroughly before use. TO do so, just rinse it under cool tap water to wash off dangerous bacterium — and remember to do so before slicing to avoid transfer of germs from the knife to the interior of the fruit or vegetable.
People can also be picky buyers. When purchasing food at the local fair or rodeo, or at a farmer’s market, be sure the vendor has a certification to show proper knowledge and experience in producing and selling food, and that the employees clearly follow strict sanitation guidelines. They should have their hair restrained, be wearing gloves when appropriate, and look clean!
While the threat of food poisoning in dramatically higher during summer, individuals can still enjoy festivities such as grilling, picnics and eating out while following the afore-listed safety guidelines.