Prevent Foodborne Illness as Summer Draws to a Close

foodborne illness

The Federal government estimates about 1 in 6 Americans get sick with a foodborne illness, each year. This results in 48 million annual cases of foodborne illness (FDA, 01/07/16).

Food becomes prone to contaminants from behaviors that easily get overlooked, including a change in temperature and cross-contamination. Salmonella illness in particular is more common in the summer. Warmer temperatures and eating non-refrigerated food outdoors causes food to be prone to bacteria and Salmonella growth (CDC, 07/8/16).

Protect yourself and others from potential foodborne illness at barbeques and picnics by paying closer attention to how you handle and cook your food.

Grilling Safety
• Cook food thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure food reaches a proper internal temperature
• Do not let food sit on the grill in a partially cooked state. If foods need to be partially cooked before grilling, do so right before adding them to the grill
• Keep meats and food at 145°F or above after cooking
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, perishables, and other prepared foods within 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is at 90°F or above)

Appropriate internal temperatures for food:
• Beef, pork, lamb, veal steaks or roasts: 145° F
• Fish: 145° F
• Ground pork or beef: 160° F
• Poultry (breasts or whole poultry): 165° F
• Casseroles: 165° F

The Danger Zone
The danger zone for food is 40°F – 140°F. Food that stays within this temperature range for too long is at risk for bacteria growth.

• Wash hands before eating and preparing food
• Rinse fruit and vegetables and scrub items with firm skins
• Keep all eating surfaces, serving platters, and utensils clean
• Avoid cross-contamination. Never put cooked food on a surface that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
• Wrap raw meats securely
• Never reuse marinades

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a variety of safety documents related to foodborne illness and food safety including: Foodborne Illness – Buffets and Potlucks, Eating Outdoors, and Packing a Safe Lunch. A policy is also available for employees and employers who work in the food industry about Food Safety Program Requirements.