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Picnic Food and Keeping It Safe

Memorial Day is the start of picnic season for millions of Americans. From family reunions to graduation parties, summer brings on many reasons to celebrate. Bring on the corn on the cob, burgers, and pie, but don’t let unsafe food handling ruin your event!

Some important (and often forgotten) guidelines include:

  • Remember to clean the lids on canned goods before opening
  • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, launder them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and refrigerator
  • Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs, unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water
  • Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products for all cooking methods. Color and texture are unreliable indicators of doneness
  • Never thaw food at room temperature, such as on the counter top
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator

For a complete list of safe cooking strategies, check out what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends at www.fda.gov

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