Summer food safety

Here are some tips to enjoy those summer salads, fresh vegetables and mouth-watering barbecued meats in a safe way.

 

During warm weather, it is particularly important to take extra precautions and practise safe food handling. Warmer temperatures result in a higher number of food poisoning cases each year. It is recommended to follow these precautions carefully, especially during summer.

 

  • Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure food reaches a safe internal temperature.
  • Be sure not to put cooked food items on the same plate that held raw food.
  • Refrigerate leftovers as quickly as possible.

 

According to foodsafety.gov, these are the recommended safe cooking temperatures:

CategoryFoodTemperature (°F) Rest Time 
Ground Meat & Meat MixturesBeef, Pork, Veal, Lamb160None
Turkey, Chicken165None
Fresh Beef, Veal, LambSteaks, roasts, chops1453 minutes
PoultryChicken & Turkey, whole165None
Poultry breasts, roasts165None
Poultry thighs, legs, wings165None
Duck & Goose165None
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)165None
Pork and HamFresh pork1453 minutes
Fresh ham (raw)1453 minutes
Precooked ham (to reheat)140None
Eggs & Egg DishesEggsCook until yolk and white are firmNone
Egg dishes160None
Leftovers & CasserolesLeftovers165None
Casseroles165None
SeafoodFin Fish145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.None
Shrimp, lobster, and crabsCook until flesh is pearly and opaque.None
Clams, oysters, and musselsCook until shells open during cooking.None
ScallopsCook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.None

 

As we age, our immune system weakens and our bodies take longer to recover from food poisoning. Older people, in particular, should ensure to follow the above tips closely when preparing their meals.

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