Hot, sunny days with barbecues and picnics… Summer just arrived! But there’s a danger lurking during the summer season: food poisoning. That’s because harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly in hot and humid conditions. By following these safety guidelines, you can help to keep food poisoning at bay.
KEEP FOOD COOL
- When the temperature spikes, DO NOT leave food at room temperature for more than an hour.
- If you are outside, keep food in a cooler, at a temperature of 4°C or less.
- DO NOT leave your cooler in direct sunlight, and DO NOT open it too often.
When food is kept at a temperature anywhere between 4°C and 60°C, harmful bacteria can spread in just two hours.
- Keep raw fish and meat away from other foods. Always place them in the bottom of the refrigerator or cooler so that their juices won’t drip onto other foods.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after handling food.
- Use soap and water to thoroughly wash utensils, dishes and cutting boards.
- Use bleach diluted in water to DISINFECT cooking equipment and work surfaces. Rinse with water and air dry.
WARD OFF HARMFUL BACTERIA
- Cook meat, poultry, fish and seafood to a safe internal cooking temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature.
- Always use clean dishes and utensils with cooked food. NEVER reuse dishes or utensils that have been used for raw meat.
The colour of meat does not tell you if food is safe to eat. Meat can sometimes brown before all bacteria have been eliminated, so ALWAYS use a food thermometer.