Food safety in summer: Tips on how to handle food in the heat
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Whether it is a family braai in the back garden or a picnic with friends on the beach, summer is made for outdoor eating.
A spread of cold meats and cheeses, yummy pasta salads and fancy sandwiches all make for perfect treats.
While this is something we all enjoy, it’s important to be careful when serving food on a very hot day.
Food can go off very quickly in the heat and no one wants to suffer from food poisoning after a beautiful day out.
When food is left out in the heat is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and E coli which is what ultimately causes food-borne illness.
Here are a few tips to help you keep food safe on those hot days.
1. Whether it’s out in the sun or at room temperature, food shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour.
2. Try to cook the food as close as possible to the time you need to serve it.
3. Put food leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as they have cooled slightly when cooked. Do not put them in the refrigerator while they are still hot by cooking.
4. Do not reheat the food more than once.
5. When out it’s advisable that cold, perishable food like cold meats, cooked meats, chicken, and potato or pasta salads should be kept in an insulated cooler pack.
6. Always handle food with clean hands and keep the surfaces you work on sanitised to prevent the spread of any bacteria.
7. If foods smells bad or tastes weird, don’t eat it! Especially pasta, chicken and fish.