WASHINGTON (KFVS) - Fight foodborne illness this Memorial Day weekend before you fill up your picnic basket or light up your grill.
Humid weather and activities outdoors are the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to multiply according to the USDA.
Remember to properly handle food by: cleaning, Separating, cook and and chill.
Here are some tips to stay safe:
- If running water is not available, bring soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer or moist towelettes. This will help keep your hands clean throughout the day especially after handling any raw meat or poultry.
- Avoid cross contamination by using clean plates and utensils. Don’t place cooked food on a plate that once held raw meat or poultry.
- Bring a couple of portable coolers – one for perishable foods and one for beverages– filled with ice. Perishable items like raw chicken, burgers or appetizers like fresh salsa, guacamole or bean salads should be kept at 40⁰F or below.
- Don’t forget the food thermometer! Cook meat and poultry to the safe internal temperatures. Checking the temperature is the only way to know if your food is safe to consume. USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures are:
- Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F with a three-minute rest time
- Fish: 145°F
- Ground meats (beef, veal, lamb, pork): 160°F
- Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F
- Bring the right amount of food that you will consume at your picnic, but if you still have some leftovers, don’t leave them outdoors for more than 2 hours.
Fore more information call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854.