July 10, 2017 – Summer is in full swing, and it’s a great time to have a picnic or barbecue. But summer also means warm weather, and that’s a prime opportunity for bacteria to grow rapidly in food. Help protect your family and friends by following these tips to keep your food safe:

  • Keep cold foods cold. Use a cooler with frozen ice packs or blocks of ice to store cold foods at or below 40°F. Don’t have ice packs? Fill a gallon zipper-lock bag with water and freeze it flat.
  • Wash up. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before preparing food and after handling raw meat.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Securely wrap raw meat so the juices do not contaminate ready to eat foods. Do not use the same cutting board or knife for raw meat and produce unless it has been thoroughly washed first. Also, wash any plates and utensils used to marinate raw meat before reusing.
  • Time is of the essence. Food should not be left out for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour, if the temperature is above 90°F. When food is in the “Danger Zone” – between 40°F and 140°F – bacteria can double every 20 minutes.

Don’t spoil your fun with a foodborne illness. Remember – when in doubt, throw it out. For more food safety information, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

For more nutrition or program information, please call (530) 889-7350 or visit our website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/letseathealthy. “Like” us on Facebook for additional tips and updates at UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, Placer/Nevada Counties.