• Be aware of internal temperatures – Included in this article is a table of the appropriate temperatures for the various types of proteins. Instant-read thermometers can ensure foods are outside the temperature danger zones.
• Use different utensils for raw and fully-cooked foods – Swap out the tongs and/or plate that was used for the raw foods. This is important for when grilling - fully cooked burgers should get a clean plate!
• Use caution with leftovers – If in doubt, throw them out! One of the most common sources of food poisoning is consumption of unsafe leftovers. If food has been out appropriate temperature ranges for more than an hour, consider it tainted and pitch it! You will be glad you did!
• Don’t thaw foods on the counter – The recommended method of thawing foods is to put frozen foods in the refrigerator. This keeps them at safe temperatures as they unfreeze; although keep in mind; this will require more planning ahead of time.
• Pay attention to the color, smell and texture – If you are questioning if a foods looks or smells “off”, go with your gut and throw it away.
• Separate raw and cooked foods – When packing a picnic, separate the uncooked foods from ready to eat chow.
• Stay in tune with CDC recall alerts –Each season, there are recalls and food safety messages that the CDC sends out to make customers aware of contaminated foods in the grocery stores.
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