There’s no denying. Summer is here with full throttle. With temperatures and humidity digits on the rise, we try to seek out ways to cool down and relax. And, one of the ways that bring us ease and comfort during these sizzling months is to gather with loved ones at barbeques, picnics, and cookouts. After all, no one wishes to spend hours in-house on the stove.
And while having fun and laughter with loved ones, it is very easy to let down our guards in regards to food safety. However, this is the time to be very cognizant as food borne illnesses tend to rise during the warmer months of the year. Some tips and habits to practice when preparing and cooking foods on the outside are:
- Pack and preserve protein and fruits/veggies in separate coolers.
- Use separate apparatus like utensils, cutting boards, and platters for preparing and cooking meals.
- Preserve meats and poultry longer by marinating them in (alcohol – e.g. beer or wine) and citrus/acid (e.g. lime, orange lemon, vinegar -(balsamic).
- Pre-cook foods at home before grilling outdoors. This move will decrease cooking time on the grill.
- Substitute mayonnaise for vinegar. For example, when preparing potato salad, instead of the creamy mayo use oils and vinegar. This will give salad a longer shelf life in the outdoors.
- Avoid creamy salad dressings for salads. Instead, use lemon or lime juice, vinegar or any other acid.
- Bear in mind that cooked foods start deteriorating after two hours without refrigeration. Therefore, it’s important that you try to consume foods within a two-hour time frame; otherwise, bacteria starts building up.
- Have a cooler with sufficient ice.
- Pack sanitary wipes.
- Make sure to have disposal cups, spoons, forks, plates, and garbage bags on hand.
Summer is a carefree time of the year. And, it’s often spent with loved ones making great memories by frolicking and bonding over delicious meals on the outskirts. With the tips above and others, you can rest assure that everyone will be safe and happy with amazing meals.