Submitted. With summer just around the corner, more people are taking advantage of warmer weather and longer days and enjoying eating a meal outside. Whether it’s a picnic with friends or a BBQ with family, Fraser Health has a few helpful tips to ensure food safety this summer season.
Don’t let nasty bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella ruin good times with family and friends. Here are a few easy ways to protect your food and yourself:
1. Clean and sanitize all food surfaces, cooking and eating utensils, especially after coming in contact with raw meat. A simple solution is one capful of household bleach in one gallon of water.
2. Kill harmful bacteria that cause food borne illnesses when grilling by cooking meat to 71° Celsius (160° Fahrenheit) and poultry to 74° Celsius (165° Fahrenheit). When in doubt use a probe thermometer.
3. Always keep raw meat separate from cooked meat.
4. Keep cold refrigerated foods like luncheon meats, pasta salads or other perishable foods in an insulated cooler packed with lots of ice or several ice packs.
5. Store leftovers in separate, shallow, covered containers in the refrigerator and eat within two days.
6. Remember to wash your hands well before preparing food and after handling food.
“You can be very conscientious with food preparation, but if you don’t practice good hand hygiene it will all be for nothing,” says Inderjeet Gill, Manager of Environmental Health Services at Fraser Health. “Proper hand washing not only protects you from food poisoning, but can also prevent many common illnesses such as colds and sore throats.”
For more information on how to keep your family and friends safe from food-borne illnesses this summer, visit our website at: http://fraserhealth.ca/your_environment/food_safety/
Health Canada information: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/ill-intox/prevent/index-eng.php