Food Safety a Concern during Summer Heat
Beth Reams with LSU Ag Center said that for picnics it's important to use clean preparation techniques and keep things cool and carry them in insulated containers, to keep the food 40 degrees or below. Reams said that in order to keep cross contamination down, that it is important to not use utensils, cutting boards or pans that have been used for uncooked foods like meats . She said that often people use the same utensils and pans/cutting boards they put the uncooked meat on to take off meat from the grill. Another source of cross contatmination, Reames said, is that many people use the uncooked marinade that they used for the meat as a sauce on coooked meat. Reams advised viewers to boil the sauce before using it as a sauce. She also advised viewers to use the 2 hour rule - that is to not keep foods out at room temperature more than 2 hours at a time. She said that in 90 degree weather , the rule is not to leave food out longer than 1 hour. She said that you shouls also wash watermelons in running water and use a brush before cutting it. After cutting, she advised putting it into the refrigerator. Concerning meats, Reams suggested using a thermometer to make sure that meats are cooked thoroughly, instead of just judging them by the color of the meat. For more information visit LsuAgcenter.com or call (225) 578-4161.