Memorial Day is the official start of outdoor celebrations and picnics.
Cookout season is heating up, but that doesn’t mean all of your food should. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers the following tips – and others – to help everyone stay safe when storing and cooking food outdoors:
- Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Frozen food can also be used as a cold source.
- A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.
- Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook.
- Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread. After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served – at 140° F or warmer.
- Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours. In hot weather (above 90° F), food should never sit out for more than one hour.
- Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler.
FIND OUT MORE at foodsafety.gov.