July 18, 2019

Keep Your Fourth of July Celebration Safe With Tips From USDA

Keep your Fourth of July celebration safe with tips on food safety from the USDA. Cooking outside and hosting parties pose unique food safety challenges. Millions of Americans contract some form of food poisoning even year, leading to 3,000 deaths.

Keep Your Fourth of July Celebration Safe With Tips From USDA

Before you start preparing food, wash your hands. This is the simplest way to stop the spread of pathogens around your kitchen. Use soap and water and lather for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Always wash your hands immediately after you handle meat and poultry.

Make sure that you cook all meats, poultry, fish, and egg dishes to safe final internal temperature, and check that temp with a reliable food thermometer. Cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal should e cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time. Fish should be cooked to 145°F. All ground meats, including beef, lamb, veal, and pork, should be cooked to 160°F. And all poultry, including whole poultry, cuts such as breasts and thighs, and ground poultry, should be cooked to 165°F.

Avoid cross-contamination between uncooked meats and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked. Don’t let juices from raw meats drip onto foods that are eaten raw. And always use a clean platter to hold cooked foods; never reuse a platter that has held raw meat or poultry unless it has been thoroughly washed with soap and water first.

Keep food safe while serving by keeping cold food cold and hot food hot. Use ice to keep perishable cold foods at a safe temperature. And remember that perishable foods should not be left out of refrigeration longer than two hours. If the air temperature is above 90°F, that time shrinks to one hour.

Refrigerate all leftovers within two hours. If you aren’t sure how long the food has been sitting out, throw it away.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration!

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