Nothing says quality family fun quite like outdoor picnics, backyard parties, and lunch in the park under cool shade—which the season provides in full. However, food safety can easily slip your mind in the middle of all the activity, which could cause health issues that throw a wrench into the carefree mood of summer.
TAKE A THERMOMETER.
If you’re unsure how long meat needs to cook in order to be safe for consuming, remember to pack a meat thermometer. This will tell you when your meat is cooked to perfection and ensure that meats like poultry aren’t underdone.
PACK IT AWAY.
During the summer months, when parties are typically more informal, people are munching on food all day. However, letting your food sit out for more than two hours, especially with temperatures in the eighties and nineties, could spoil the food (especially if it’s made with perishable ingredients, like mayo).
Never put raw vegetables and uncooked meat on the same serving tray, which could lead to a cross-contaminating mishap. Put everything on separate dishes, and don’t reuse the same dishes that raw meats were placed on, unless the plate is thoroughly washed.
Coolers are the easiest way to keep food fresh longer. The key to ensuring maximum freshness is keeping the cooler closed whenever not in use, which will help to maintain the proper temperature of the food.
DON’T REUSE CONDIMENTS.
Your great-aunt, next-door neighbor, and little cousins all had their hands in the same jars, so would you really want to reuse them? If any used condiments are left over, consider tossing them.