Cooking and consuming food are a huge part of most summer festivities. There are few better ways to enjoy the delightful weather and company of your loved ones than by getting together over a delicious bite to eat. However, as the summer weather approaches, so too do a wealth of enhanced food safety risks.
Bacteria that are typically present in food can easily multiply and thrive in warmer temperatures. Preparing and storing meals at home for the summer months and choosing to eat or cook outdoors can lead to numerous challenges when it comes to avoiding unsafe food practices.
If consumers are not careful to manage the bacteria levels in their food, serious illnesses and food poisoning can result. Fortunately, it is possible to fight back against harmful organisms and keep your meals safe with a few simple precautions.
Prevent harmful bacteria
First, always be careful when transporting your food from one place to another. Whether you’re taking ingredients home from the supermarket or transporting items to a picnic, make sure that food is out of the fridge for as little time as possible. Carry produce in air conditioned parts of your car instead of putting them into the boot where heat can accumulate.
Second, make sure that you carefully separate any seafood, poultry, or raw meat from your cooked or read-to-eat foods. When storing raw meats in the refrigerator, keep them on the bottom shelf to ensure that no juices drip down and contaminate other foods.
If you’re not sure about an item of food, throw it out. Whenever you think that a food may have been left out of the fridge for a number of hours, it’s better to dispose of it than run the risk of falling ill.
Make sure that any frozen food you may be cooking has completely thawed before you start preparing it. This does not apply to items that are intended to be cooked from frozen such as ready-made meals.
Finally, it’s a good idea to leave the handling of food to other people in your household if you are unwell. This reduces the chances of spreading viruses and contamination through the food preparation process.