In honor of the Labor Day holiday, friends and families across Scott County will gather for picnics, cookouts, tailgates and family get-togethers. But if food is not handled safely when it is prepared, some of these people will become sick thanks to food-borne illness. You can help prevent food-borne illnesses by making sure the food you serve is free of bacteria. A simple rule of thumb is to ‘keep cold food cold, and hot food hot.’ Below are a few more tips to keep your food safe:
- Cook all meats thoroughly.
- Marinate foods in the refrigerator - not on the kitchen counter or outdoors. In addition, if you plan to use some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, set aside a portion before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Don’t reuse marinade.
- Cook thoroughly and immediately after "partial cooking." If you partially cook food in your kitchen to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.
- Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water. Clean up spills right away.
Learn more about food safety by visiting the Scott County Health Department’s Food Safety page at: http://www.scottcountyiowa.com/health/food/food-safety