Hi all, it’s time for my annual summer food safety review. I do this every year. If you have paid attention, are a good little foodie, and follow all the food safety rules you can move along now. The rest of you need to read on to protect your friends and family. Please.
This is E.coli 0157:H7, and it can cause renal failure and even death. Not just a little stomach upset, it can kill you or your family and friends. It is common contaminate of ground meats and is one of the main reasons you need to be extra careful out there.
I don’t just “play a doctor” on this website. I’m a board certified general pediatrician. I’m now retired after 38 years in practice.
After almost every major holiday, I would see several food poisonings in children. All of which are preventable. Fortunately, most cases are mild and self-limiting (would go away by themselves).
Since this is a cooking blog, I will concentrate on the food related safety tips here, but there are many other safety issues other than food needed to keep them all safe. See the Red Cross for a good summary.
My list is just some basic reminders of food safety. For more food safety information, please check The FDA.
- Cross-contamination: the most common cause of foodborne illnesses, so keep food preparation away from serving areas.
- Unwashed hands and surfaces are an important cause of foodborne illnesses. Let’s clean it up and keep it clean.
- Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 and 140 °F so keep the danger foods outside of this range.
- Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables since you have no idea where it has been.
- Thaw all frozen meat in the refrigerator. About 5 hours per pound so plan ahead.
- Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
- Toss away any used marinade. It is contaminated. You should reserve some unused marinade separately for cooking if needed.
- Wash everything that touched raw meat or poultry before using again.
|A THERMOMETER IS REQUIRED EQUIPMENT!|
- Cold foods: If set out then no longer than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees. Or you can keep them cool to 40 degrees or less.
- Hot food should be kept at or above 140°F.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover foods promptly. If over the time limits then discard.
More food safety information at The FDA.
Originally Published July 2, 2013
Last Updated July 2, 2018