|LONGMEADOW with picnic season upon us, the Longmeadow Board of Health has provided the following food safety tips to help prevent food poisoning during warm-weather dining:|
- Wash your hands and surfaces often;
- Make sure food is served on clean plates and eaten with clean utensils;
- Keep meats away from other foods;
- Cook to proper temperature. Foods are properly cooked when they reach a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Use a clean food thermometer to measure the internal temperature;
- When grilling chicken or pork, make sure there are no pink juices from the meat. Juices will be clear when sufficiently cooked;
- Keep hot food hot and eat immediately;
- Keep raw food away from cooked food;
- Cover your food. Insects spread germs;
- Keep cold food cold and return to refrigeration or ice chest after serving;
- Use the "two hour rule". Discard food that has been left out longer than two hours. (One hour if temperature is above 85 degrees F).
- Another food rule. When in doubt throw it out!
In addition to these safety tips, consumers can obtain "Cook to Safe Temperature" fact sheets' along with public health fact sheets on foodborne pathogens at the Longmeadow Board of Health office or at the Greenwood Adult Center health room, 231 Maple Rd..