Food Safety in the Summer

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich — funny guy!

A few years ago, I did a segment on food safety because of a salmonella outbreak. Remember the ground turkey scare? I attached it below if you want to see the whole song and dance — luckily I don’t sing or dance, but I am a bit chatty. It goes through salmonella, what it is, what it does, why it should worry you and what precautions you should take. It is thorough and worth a view if you have the time.

But, with BBQ fun season in full swing, I’ll save you the time of watching the whole thing; precaution is worth summarizing. You may be too busy enjoying yourself with your blueberry-plum vodka mojitos to care about protecting your intestines, but nothing can ruin a good time like a food poisoning outbreak. Salmonella causes more illness in the summer months.

— Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after food prep.

— Keep meat and produce separate from grocery store to fridge to prep. (Why is there a “D” in fridge and not refrigerator?)

— Use separate cutting boards for animal products and plant products if you can. If you can’t, they need to be scrubbed with soap and warm water in between uses.

— Meat and Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees

— Poultry and ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

— Defrost and marinate in the refrigerator and not on the counter.

— Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours. If it is hot out, within 1 hour is a better goal.

— When you reheat leftovers, heat thoroughly.

— If you have a reptile for a pet (why do you have a reptile for a pet?) wash your hands after every scaly interaction.

Here is a video of me trying to not look at the camera and not laugh when I say “diarrhea” in public. The info here is more complete.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.