Along with fireworks and flying the flag,
make sure to be “food-safe” this summer. Follow the advice of the experts at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and celebrate freedom – from foodborne illness. Summer is full of
big picnics like the 4th of July, when families get together to barbecue. And summer also
with its warmer temperatures, is an ideal time for bacteria to grow faster. So, it’s
important to remember the four basic messages of clean, separate, cook and chill. And with
our new AskKaren app for mobile phones, you have food safety answers at your fingertips,
wherever your barbecue may be. When you’re cooking out, bring cleaning items with you,
to keep hands, utensils and surfaces clean. Bring separate plates and cutting boards,
so juices from raw foods don’t contaminate cooked foods. And bring along a food thermometer,
to cook foods to safe internal temperatures. It’s important to use a food thermometer
– you can’t tell by looking. Cook hamburgers to a hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit
and poultry to a hundred and sixty five degrees Fahrenheit. To chill foods when transporting
or storing leftovers, use a cooler with ice or freezer gels. Make sure it’s at forty
degrees or below. For cold drinks, consider using a separate cooler you may open more
frequently. And don’t let foods sit out for more than one hour in hot weather. If
you don’t know how long it’s been sitting out when in doubt throw it out. Got all that?
If not, it’s your patriotic duty to ask a food safety question online at Ask Karen
dot gov, or by calling the U-S-D-A’s meat and poultry hotline: one eight eight eight
m-p hotline. For the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I’m Pat O’Leary.