Registered Dietitian Joanne Shearer, the Director of Food and Nutrition at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls gives us some advice on how to avoid a bout with food poisoning at your summer picnic.
Director of Food and Nutrition at the Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitian Joanne Shearer says, "Cases of food-borne illness increases during the summertime because bacteria thrive in heat and humidity and we have plenty of that in the Midwest in the summer. I want you and your family to be safe during your outdoor picnics and grilling. I'm going to give you some simple tips on being safe so you can enjoy your outdoor food.
First of all, when you are packing a cooler put all your meat products at the bottom to prevent cross contamination. You don't want those meat juices dripping on other foods. When you cook your meat use a meat thermometer. Ground beef needs to reach 155 degrees F, chicken 165 degrees F. Make sure to use a clean plate when you take the cooked meat off the grill. Don't use the same plate the raw meat was on.
It's a good idea to have a bucket with hot soapy water and disinfectant wipes handy making sure to keep surfaces clean and wash your hands before and after handling food.
You also want to make sure you are properly storing your foods keeping hot food hot and cold foods cold. If any food is left out for longer than 2 hours you should discard. Remember when in doubt, throw out and be safe."
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