Hot Season Food Handling

In the summertime, foods can quickly reach the “Danger Zone” of temperatures between 5C and 57C where bacteria multiply quickly. During the summer heat is more important than ever to be sure foods are handled properly.

In restaurants and in the bazaar:

- Avoid eating salads served with mayonnaise and some other dairy products in restaurants.

- Avoid eating undercooked meat or poultry.

- Don’t taste fresh cuts of fruits, melons, or watermelons in the market. You can not be sure what seller did with that knife before.

- Avoid trying cherries, apples, apricots in the bazaar. They are not washed.

In the store:

- When shopping for raw and cooked foods in the summertime, be sure the store is displaying food at the proper temperature. Never choose packages that are warm, torn or leaking.

- Put raw meat and poultry into a plastic bag so meat juices will not cross contaminate cooked foods, vegetables or fruit.

- Don’t buy cooked items touching raw items in the display case.

- When loading the car, keep perishable items inside the air-conditioned car – not in the trunk. Drive immediately home from the store. If you live farther away than 30 minutes, bring a cooler with ice from home and place perishables in the cooler.

- Wash hands before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Handle perishable food quickly.

At home:

- Be sure all work surfaces are clean before preparing food. Remember, bacteria can be present on any surface, food and peoples’ hands. To sanitize cutting boards, counters and sinks, first wash with hot soapy water. When picnicking or cooking outdoors, take plenty of clean utensils. Never put cooked food on a platter that contained raw meat or poultry.

Don’t taste any food that you are not sure of!

If in doubt, throw it out!