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.