Summer Food Safety Tips
Published June 21st, 2013
Gainesville, Fla. -- They are numbers that can turn your stomach.
More than 4,500 people were hospitalized from food bourne illnesses in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Nothing can ruin a summer vacation or a poolside party faster than spoiled food.
Fortunately there are some easy ways to make sure you can enjoy the great outdoors and a good meal.
When food reaches temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees farenheit, that's known as the danger zone.
Those temperatures allow bacteria to thrive.
To avoid bacteria, keep cold foods chilled below that temperature and cook hot foods to the proper internal temperature.
The biggest problem is often cross contamination of foods that require cooking with those that don't.
IFAS researcher and UF Food and Nutrition Science professor Dr. Douglas Archer says cleaning cooking utensils is a must.
"Really sanitize it with hot water and a lot of soap between doing something like chicken and doing vegetables," he says.
If you're grilling, cooking thouroughly can be difficult because a hot grill can quickly char the outside of the meat.
Archer says low, even heat can keep meat tender and cooked all the way through.
Use a food thermometer to check that the inside of meat is cooked to 145 degrees fahrenheit.
For more tips, visit the Florida Department of Health's website here:
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