Here are some tips to keep food safe to eat:
- Place perishable foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, poultry, devilled eggs and macaroni or potato salads, in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. Food should be stored at 4.5°C or below to prevent bacteria growth.
- Consider packing drinks in one cooler and food in another. The beverage cooler is opened more often as guests replenish their drinks, and temperatures may become too high to keep food safe.
- Keep the cooler in the shade. Serve food quickly and return it to the cooler.
- In weather above 32°C, food should not sit out of the cooler for more than an hour.
- Wash your hands before preparing food at a cookout or picnic. If water is not available, use hand sanitiser or disposable wipes.
- Cook meat to the correct internal temperature. (The US federal government recommends 63°C for steaks, 71°C for ground beef, 74°C for chicken breasts.) Use a meat thermometer.
- Serve cooked food from a clean platter. Don’t reuse utensils or plates that held raw food. – Raleigh News & Observer/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Sources: www.foodsafety.gov and www.fda.gov