New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - HEALTH & FAMILY -

One of the best things about sum­mer is be­ing able to eat out­side, whether at a pic­nic or a bar­be­cue. But if prepre­pared foods are left to sit around in the heat, the bac­te­ria in them can mul­ti­ply, lead­ing to con­tam­i­na­tion and pos­si­bly food poi­son­ing.

Cer­tain types of food are more likely to cause food poi­son­ing, es­pe­cially those that are pre­pared in ad­vance. Foods com­monly as­so­ci­ated with poi­son­ing in­clude chicken, eggs and shell­fish.

To avoid food be­com­ing con­tam­i­nated, don’t for­get to:

• Re­frig­er­ate foods that need to be kept cool im­me­di­ately.

• Never leave gro­ceries sit­ting in your car.

• Thor­oughly clean sur­faces be­fore pre­par­ing food.

• Use sep­a­rate boards and uten­sils for cut­ting meat, chicken and seafood, or clean them thor­oughly be­tween use.

• Keep cooked foods in the top of the fridge and raw meat at the bot­tom in case juices drip.

• Never re­freeze any­thing that has been thawed.

• Cook food un­til it’s pip­ing hot. In par­tic­u­lar, make sure chicken is thor­oughly cooked. Never eat pink poul­try.

• Don’t get food out of the fridge or chilly bin un­til you are ready to eat it. Put it away again once every­one has been served.

• If you have any doubts about how safe food is – for ex­am­ple, if it has been sit­ting out for a while – throw it out.

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