Here are some tips to enjoy those summer salads, fresh vegetables and mouth-watering barbecued meats in a safe way.
During warm weather, it is particularly important to take extra precautions and practise safe food handling. Warmer temperatures result in a higher number of food poisoning cases each year. It is recommended to follow these precautions carefully, especially during summer.
- Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure food reaches a safe internal temperature.
- Be sure not to put cooked food items on the same plate that held raw food.
- Refrigerate leftovers as quickly as possible.
According to foodsafety.gov, these are the recommended safe cooking temperatures:
|Category||Food||Temperature (°F)||Rest Time|
|Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures||Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb||160||None|
|Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb||Steaks, roasts, chops||145||3 minutes|
|Poultry||Chicken & Turkey, whole||165||None|
|Poultry breasts, roasts||165||None|
|Poultry thighs, legs, wings||165||None|
|Duck & Goose||165||None|
|Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)||165||None|
|Pork and Ham||Fresh pork||145||3 minutes|
|Fresh ham (raw)||145||3 minutes|
|Precooked ham (to reheat)||140||None|
|Eggs & Egg Dishes||Eggs||Cook until yolk and white are firm||None|
|Leftovers & Casseroles||Leftovers||165||None|
|Seafood||Fin Fish||145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.||None|
|Shrimp, lobster, and crabs||Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.||None|
|Clams, oysters, and mussels||Cook until shells open during cooking.||None|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.||None|
As we age, our immune system weakens and our bodies take longer to recover from food poisoning. Older people in particular should ensure to follow the above tips closely when preparing their meals.