April 29, 2012 • Posted by Jean at Delightful Repast
Whether you’re going to a potluck or a picnic or hosting a food-filled indoor occasion at home, following a few simple steps will keep you and your fellow diners safe from foodborne illness.
- Wash hands and surfaces frequently during food prep, especially when handling meats or raw eggs, to avoid cross-contamination.
- Wash fruits and vegetables, even those with skins or rinds that are not eaten, before cutting it. Cutting into a melon, for example, pushes any germs on the outer surface into the fruit.
- Regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator (40 degrees F or below) and freezer (0 degrees F or below).
- Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours; 1 hour on days when the temperature is higher than 90 degrees F.
- Keep hot foods wrapped and in an insulated container and cold foods in the cooler right up until serving time. Set out multiple small trays of a particular food one at a time, rather than one large tray.
- Use chafing dishes, slow cookers or warming trays to hold hot foods at 140 degrees F or warmer. Nest bowls of cold foods in larger bowls of ice to hold cold foods at 40 degrees F or cooler.
- Throw away any food that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours; 1 hour on days when the temperature is higher than 90 degrees F. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Use very long-handled serving utensils so that a utensil that has been touched by many people does not rest in the food.
- When grilling, have a clean platter and utensils ready for cooked food. Don’t reuse those that held the raw meat.