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Archive for July 4th, 2012

It almost seems un-American not to cook out on July 4th. Families throughout the nation celebrate this annual event with grills blazing, whether at a community event, a favorite park, or in their own backyard.

This happy time can result in unpleasant food poisoning unless foods are handled carefully. Follow these tips adapted from articles by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to keep foods safe.

  • Wash, Wash, Wash. Sure, you know to wash your hands before eating. But extend that washing to many times in food preparation to prevent cross contamination, especially when handling uncooked meats. Wash any surfaces and utensils that come in contact with raw meats. That includes those tongs used to transfer raw portions to the grill and back to serving dishes or plates.
  • Check Temperatures. Looks can deceive when it comes to doneness. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat cooks to a safe temperature. Hamburger should show an internal reading of 160oF before serving to family and guests.
  • Hold Foods at Safe Temperatures. Even in optimum conditions, prepared foods should not stay out more than two hours. With a July heat-wave, that time drops to one hour or less. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until serving time, either in your refrigerator and warming oven at home or in separate insulated containers when away from home.
  • Store Leftovers Appropriately. Place foods in airtight, shallow containers. Put uncooked meats in the lower part of the refrigerator and store other foods above.

Follow these guides to assure a food-safe and festive holiday. God bless America!

To see AND articles about keeping food safe, check the following sites.

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470753

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470663

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