When cooking outside, don't let food safety slide

July 1, 2016

(HealthDay)—Food is a big part of many Fourth of July celebrations. But take care when making and storing your meal, so that a bout of food poisoning doesn't ruin the rest of your holiday plans, a dietary expert advises.

When having a picnic or barbecue, it's important to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

"Cold foods should be ideally put in shallow containers and then kept on ice to keep them below 40 Fahrenheit. Hot foods should be kept warm—above 160 degrees —to prevent bacteria from growing on food," said Liz Weinandy, a dietitian at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.

Use a thermometer when cooking. In general, ground meats like hamburgers should be cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F, and poultry like chicken breasts to 165 degrees.

"Make sure to use separate cutting boards, utensils, tongs and plates for raw meat and cooked products. Anything that touches raw meat should be completely sanitized before being used again, or use clean ones to avoid cross contamination," Weinandy said in a university news release.

"Make sure to refrigerate leftovers within two hours of sitting them out to eat. If it is over 90 degrees outside, this time shrinks to one hour," she noted.

"If food is left out longer than this, it can grow some serious bacteria. Avoid eating that has been sitting out that long and throw it away instead of sending it home with guests or keeping it for lunch the next day," Weinandy advised.

Explore further: Keep holiday meals festive and safe

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on food safety.

Related Stories

Keep holiday meals festive and safe

December 25, 2014
(HealthDay)—Holiday parties and home-cooked meals offer plenty of opportunities for germs to find their way into food.

Dietitian experts offer holiday food safety tips

December 24, 2015
(HealthDay)—As families gather around the table to share holiday meals and treats, food poisoning is usually the last thing on anyone's mind.

Five things you should know about grilling burgers to avoid getting sick

June 7, 2016
For many people, the sound of burgers sizzling on the grill is enough to make their mouths water. Grilling burgers is a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, whether it's at a summer party in the backyard ...

Avoid outdoor cooking mistakes that can make people sick

May 28, 2012
This time of year marks the migration of dining to the great outdoors -- truly summer grilling and picnicking remain a great American passion. But do it wisely, urges a food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural ...

Grill safely this holiday weekend

July 3, 2014
(HealthDay)—July Fourth is nearly here, and chances are your weekend plans include at least some grilling.

To avoid food poisoning, there's an app for that

April 29, 2016
(HealthDay)—There are apps for maps, restaurants and calorie-counting. Now, there's even one from the U.S. government for reducing your risk of foodborne illness.

Recommended for you

Omega 3 supplements have little or no heart or vascular health benefit: review

July 17, 2018
New evidence published today shows there is little or no effect of omega 3 supplements on our risk of experiencing heart disease, stroke or death.

Study shows that people most affected by alcohol also most impacted by sleep deprivation

July 17, 2018
A team of researchers from the German Aerospace Center and Forschungszentrum Jülich has found that people who are most susceptible to alcohol intoxication are also most susceptible to cognitive problems due to sleep deprivation. ...

As we get parched, cognition can easily sputter, dehydration study says

July 17, 2018
Anyone lost in a desert hallucinating mirages knows that extreme dehydration discombobulates the mind. But just two hours of vigorous yard work in the summer sun without drinking fluids could be enough to blunt concentration, ...

Jury still out on probiotics

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Probiotics have become a trendy dietary supplement, with more and more people popping bacteria-laden capsules to try to improve their gut health.

Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children

July 16, 2018
A toddler's self-regulation—the ability to change behavior in different social situations—may predict whether he or she will be obese come kindergarten, but the connection appears to be much different for girls than for ...

1 in 9 U.S. adults over 45 reports memory problems

July 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you're middle-aged and you think you're losing your memory, you're not alone, a new U.S. government report shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.