As people picnic and eat out-of-doors during the summer months, there are increased chances for mishandling foods and abusing food temperatures.
The Yadkin County Health Department, Environmental Health Section, would like to take this opportunity to provide the following information to help you have a safe and healthy summer:
1. Be sure that food preparation areas, surfaces, tables, utensils and equipment are clean.
2. Wash hands with warm water and anti-bacterial soap for at least 20 seconds before beginning food preparation-always.
3. Buy food from reputable permitted establishments.
4. Consider using a cooler if the time from the store to home will be more than one hour. Keep frozen and refrigerated items together. Shop for perishable items last.
5. Refrigerate all products marked “Keep Refrigerated”. Freeze all products with a “Keep Frozen” label.
6. Store raw meats and poultry so they do not drip or leak onto other foods and contaminate them.
7. Do not thaw meat or poultry on the counter. Thaw or defrost in the refrigerator.
8. Completely cook meat and poultry at one time. Do not interrupt the cooking process.
9. Use a thermometer to ensure complete cooking. Minimum internal cooking temperatures are 150° F for pork, 155° F for ground hamburger, 130° F for steak, and 165° F for all other hazardous foods.
10. Serve cooked products on clean plates with clean utensils.
11. Wash hands, utensils and other food contact surfaces after contact with raw meat or poultry before handling the cooked product. Example: A serving platter used to hold raw beef patties must be washed before using it to serve the cooked product.
12. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of use; refrigerate within one hour if the temperature in the serving area is above 90° F.
13. When traveling or picnicking, keep all perishables in a cooler with ice or freeze pack inserts.
14. Remember: If in doubt, throw it out!
If you have questions, please call the Yadkin County Health Department, Environmental Health Section at 336-679-4244.