|Script: Food Safety
Reminders for This Summer
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service "Food Safety At Home" podcast series, featuring topics
for the safe handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry
and processed egg products. So, sit back, turn up the volume and
Hello! Iím CiCi Williamson with the USDAís Food Safety and
Inspection Service. With me is Donna Karlsons.
Weíre here to pass along a couple of important food safety
reminders for the summer.
Every year, we receive thousands of calls from people who arenít
sure about the safety of the food they take outside during hot
And they are right to be concerned. Foodborne illnesses, also
known as food poisoning, increase during the summer. Most
microorganisms grow faster during this time of year, especially
at temperatures between 90 and 110 įF. In addition to warm
temperatures, bacteria also need moisture to flourish, and the
summer can be very humid.
Also, more people are barbecuing, picnicking and camping.
Outdoors itís harder to cook food safely, keep it cold, and keep
Here are some tips that can help prevent food poisoning when
handling and preparing food away from your kitchen this summer.
Itís crucial to wash your hands with soap and warm water before
and after handling raw meat and poultry.
When preparing food and eating away from home, find out if
there's a source of safe drinking water. If not, bring water for
drinking and cleaning. Also, pack clean, wet, disposable
washcloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning
hands and surfaces.
If you take perishables with you, itís important to keep them in
a cooler with PLENTY of ice or frozen ice gel packs.
When packing the cooler, wrap raw meats securely to keep raw
meat juices from contaminating ready-to-eat food.
Being asked ďIs it done yet?Ē every five minutesÖcan be
annoying, but donít rush it. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill
browns fast on the outside before the inside is done, so use a
food thermometer to make sure your meat and poultry are cooked
thoroughly. Visit AskKaren.gov and find the right internal
temperature for your meat.
When taking food off the grill, use a clean plate. Donít put
cooked food on the same plate that held raw meat or poultry.
Place any leftover food back in the cooler within 2 hours, or 1
hour if the outside temperature is above 90 įF.
Here is a tip: The ice in your cooler will last longer if you
keep the cooler closed, out of the sun, and covered, if
Also, because the beverage cooler will probably be opened
frequently, consider packing canned beverages in one cooler and
perishable food in another cooler.
Want to know more? Visit www.fsis.usda.gov and find more tips on
how to cook safely in warm weather. Call us at 1-888-MPHotline
(or 1-888-674-6854) if you have more questions!
Fight bacteria and stay safe this summer! And donít forget to
check your food safety steps at foodsafety.gov!
Thanks for listening to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending
your comments to
Last Modified: May 23, 2012