Summer is finally here. This is the time of year when gatherings with family and friends are most popular. However, the delicious summertime foods we yearn for all winter need extra special handling when the outside temperature turns warm. In fact, cases of food borne illness rise during the summer because bacteria thrive in warm temperatures. You keep food safe from the bacteria that cause food borne illness by following a few simple rules:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot soapy water before and after handling food, and before and after handling different types of food such as meat and fish or chicken.
- Cook food to a safe internal temperature. Use a food thermometer.
- Store food at the proper temperature. Your refrigerator should be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. All perishable foods must be refrigerated.
- Keep cold food cold. When you leave the supermarket, place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of your car, rather than a hot trunk. Refrigerate as soon as possible.
- Be sure to thoroughly clean cutting boards and utensils after each use.
For more information on food safety during the summer and while on vacation visit