If you love to eat outside during the summer, keep food safety in mind as you prepare your next summer barbecue.
Summer barbecues can be a great chance to get together with friends, enjoy the warm weather, and eat delicious food. As enjoyable as these gatherings are, however, it’s important to remember that instances of food-borne illness rise dramatically in the summer because of the bacteria that thrives in warmer temperatures.
Whether you are grilling in your backyard or picnicking in the park, there are various precautions you can take to keep your outdoor meals safe and delicious.
For example, marinating meat or seafood is a great way to add a boost of flavor to a grilled summer meal, but it’s also a common source of food contamination. While marinating your meat or fish, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator rather than out on the counter, as this can prevent harmful bacteria from thriving.
You should also avoid letting food sit out for too long at your outdoor barbecues, as doing so increases the likelihood of bacterial growth. Serve your food how it’s meant to be served — specifically hot foods should be discarded when they are reach room temperature and cold foods should be kept in a cooler until consumed.
Be especially careful when preparing food for children and elderly people, as these two groups are especially susceptible to food poisoning due to their compromised immune systems. Don’t let the risk of food-borne illness make you shy away from eating outdoors or cooking on the grill—be sure to enjoy the experience of al fresco dining while it lasts.