Do you have plans to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends on the fourth of July or saving your celebrations until the weekend?
Whenever you host your get together, it is time to get out the red, white and blue decorations and plan your holiday menu.
When it comes to Independence Day food, it is usually time for a picnic or barbecue as family and friends gather. You’ll want to make sure there are plenty of dishes to share and that there is something for everyone.
When you are preparing your holiday feast, it’s a good time to remember a few food safety tips.
Make sure that salads and other cold dishes are not left standing outside of the refrigerator or cooler for too long. The summer temperatures can rise in July. Warm, humid weather is the ideal environment for bacteria that cause food-borne illness.
If you are using coolers on a picnic or outside in the backyard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that the temperature in coolers should be kept at 40°F or lower to prevent bacteria from developing. Simple refrigerator thermometers can be popped into the cooler to monitor temperature as the heat outside rises.
Foods like salads and dips are particularly at risk of spreading food-borne illness. Don’t leave them outside for too long and keep them refrigerated or in the cooler as much as possible.
When grilling or cooking meat on the barbecue, test that is cooked through and served at the correct temperature. A simple pocket digital thermometer can do the job but if you are cooking for a crowd commercially, you might want to automate your temperature checks with Bluetooth Pocketherm® and Comark’s Kitchen Checks App.
No barbecue is complete without hot dogs or weenies served with lettuce, mustard and a variety of sauces. When it comes to burgers, each BBQ chef has their favorite recipe. Lamb, beef, chicken and vegetable patties served in a bun with a mix of sauces and salads are all popular with guests.
With a few food safety precautions, you can make sure the food you serve on the fourth of July is tasty and safe to eat.
Eating Outdoors: Handling Food Safely published by U.S. Food and Drug Administration has some great tips for handling food safely when transporting food and eating outside.