Safe Food Tips for Al Fresco During the Heat Wave.
As temperatures spike so do the number of food poisoning cases advises Food Safety Professional Orlagh Deegan from www.choicetraining.ie. Cases in Campylobacter, E.Coli, Salmonella and Listeria are the most common types of food poisoning.
"There is very little you can do to prevent becoming ill after you have eaten contaminated food" said Orlagh "So taking some simple steps and planning your picnic or BBQ can save a very unpleasant illness".
Storing food at incorrect temperatures for too long cause bacteria to multiply to unsafe levels and undercooked burgers on the BBQ pose a huge risk.
Keep cold food cold, a cooler box with Ice Packs are best. Dryice.ie sell reusable Polar Packs and these are Orlagh’s product of choice for her picnic box. If you don’t have ice-packs, frozen bottles of water are a handy substitute. Keep the picnic box closed to keep it cool.
If you are bringing raw meat for a BBQ keep it separate from other ready to eat foods like sandwich fillings, fruit and salads. It is advised that you should pre-wash fruit and vegetables before packing it.
Before preparing or cooking any foods, thoroughly wash your hands. Make sure to use a separate chopping board and knife for raw meat. Undercooked poultry and burgers may contain harmful bacteria and cause food positing. Make sure meats are cooked thoroughly until juices run clear. A kitchen thermometer is a handy and affordable piece of equipment to ensure meats are cooked properly, exceeding a core temperature of 75degrees is recommended.
Segregate Make sure that any food left out for longer than 2 hours is discarded. Many people who get food poisoning blame the last restaurant they ate in but in reality about 50% of cases happen due to food prepared by individuals.
Orlagh’s advice is to plan ahead to avoid any unpleasant illness and enjoy your Al Fresco dining during the heat wave.
Orlagh Deegan is a Licenced Food Safety Trainer (NHP, EHAI, FSPA) at www.choicetraining.ie and member of the Food Safety Professionals Association.
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