Ah, warmer weather is here! And along with it come barbecues and picnics. Eating outdoors can be a great pastime, but it takes extra care to make sure that the food you are eating is safe. Bacteria loves warm weather and can grow rapidly in food left outdoors. To keep your picnic or barbecue safe this season, you will need to take some extra steps.
All foods that are prepared ahead of time should be cooled completely before packing in an ice chest. Generally, overnight is best. Food will not cool completely if it is warm when placed in an ice chest. It can also affect the temperature of the food around it. Pack your ice chest well and be sure to replenish the ice if it begins to melt. Keeping your cooler in the shade will help prevent excessive warming.
Cleanliness is the most basic and necessary way to prevent the spread and growth of bacteria. Wash your hands before preparing food. All utensils should be kept clean. You cannot use a knife to cut raw meat and then use the same knife to cut fruits or vegetables without cleaning it in between. Keep all surfaces clean as well, including cutting boards and serving platters.
Once your food is cooked, it needs to be kept hot. Any food left at room temperature for more than two hours is in danger of becoming contaminated. Once everyone is finished eating, cool all leftovers as much as possible and repack in ice in your ice chest. Place your leftover food in your refrigerator as soon as possible. And remember, if you are ever in doubt about the safety of any food, throw it out.
At Oxford at Tech Ridge Apartments in Austin, Texas, we believe it’s important to live life vigorously. In order to do so, you must educate yourself regularly with lifestyle-enhancing tips such as these. With this blog post, we seek to improve your way of life through education that promotes self-care.