Food safety in the Great Outdoors
Summer's warm weather makes it a great season to spend some time outside, but it also means that there are some risks with the higher temperatures. There is a greater risk of food poisoning during the summer because of harmful bacteria that can grow in warm, moist conditions. Keep in mind these safety tips while enjoying the great outdoors:
- Wash your hands. It can be easy to forget this basic step while you're basking in the sun or may not have running water available. It is best to wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom and before cooking or eating. If there isn't running water, bring hand sanitizer. Re-wash hands after switching tasks, such as handling raw meat to cutting veggies.
- Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods. Avoid cross-contamination by using designated plates and utensils for raw foods. Use separate, clean plates and utensils for cooked foods. Do not place cooked meat or vegetables on the same plate as uncooked foods. Use one cutting board for meats and one for produce and ready-to-eat foods. Always wash hands, produce and appliances before preparing food.
- Marinate food in the refrigerator, not out on the counter. Follow the thaw law! Always thaw frozen foods, especially meat, and marinate in the refrigerator. Do not taste or reuse the marinade after raw meat has been added. If you plan to use the sauce for added flavor later, reserve a clean quantity for later use.
- Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Eat hot foods within two hours of cooking or buying. Cook foods to a safe minimum internal temperature and check with a food thermometer. Cold food items such as salads and desserts can be placed directly on ice or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.
- Practice food safety when storing leftovers. Proper food safety doesn't end with preparing and cooking meals! Don't leave leftovers out for more than one hour when it is more than 90°F outside. When storing leftovers allow them to cool quickly in shallow containers to avoid bacteria growth.
Makes 6 servings
Total cost: $2.42
Cost per serving: $0.40
- 1 pound potatoes (4 medium potatoes)
- 1 cup onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- Veggie up your potato salad with 1/2 cup crunchy bell peppers and/or 1/2 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes!
- Scrub the potatoes, and peel them.
- Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
- Put the potatoes into a saucepan. Cover with water.
- Bring the potatoes to a boil on medium heat,
- Let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes until they're soft.
- Drain the hot water, and let the potatoes cool.
- While the potatoes are cooling, peel and chop some onions until you have 1 cup of chopped onions.
- Chop the celery until you have 1/2 cup chopped celery.
- Put the chopped onion and celery in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise and pickle relish. Stir together.
- Add the cooked potatoes. Stir again.
- Cover the bowl. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.