Dining alfresco

Food safe for summer-casual dining also provides ideal conditions for outbreaks of foodborne illness.

  • Jul. 25, 2014 4:00 p.m.

.

It’s the time of year when many of us enjoy cooking outdoors—in parks, campgrounds and back yards. This pleasurable summer pastime of casual dining also provides ideal conditions for outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Foodborne illness peaks during the months of May through September because of barbecuing and outdoor eating.  E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter are examples of some of the many bacteria related to handling raw meats and other perishable food items. That’s why it’s vital to be sure items are refrigerated, well cooked and handled with care.

Outdoor chefs should keep food safety in mind as they are preparing summer feasts. These four words can help you reduce the risk:

Clean: Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food. Wash all dishes, cutting boards and counters with hot soapy water. A spray bottle containing 1/2 tsp of chlorine bleach per litre of water can be used to sanitize these items.

Separate:  Keep raw foods away from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination. Store raw meat at the bottom of the fridge or cooler to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods. Always use a clean plate when taking cooked meat off the barbecue.

Cook: Properly cooking food will kill harmful bacteria. Cook all meat to the appropriate internal temperature—see Health Canada’s Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures chart (http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/safety-salubrite/cook-temperatures-cuisson-eng.php) for more details. Use a digital food thermometer to measure the inside temperature of cooked meats. Once cooked, keep hot foods at 60ºC or hotter until ready to serve.

Chill: Always thaw meat in the fridge, microwave, or under cold running water – never at room temperature. Do not let cooked food sit out at room temperature or in the sun for more than two hours. Cool any leftovers right away.  Finally, keep cold foods cold at 4ºC or lower.

For more tips, go to Interior Health’s website for the Life Begins at 40 degrees brochure or Health Canada’s Summer Food Safety Tips www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Firefighters extinguish early-morning blaze in Rossland

Neighbour alerted family of four, no injuries reported

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read