Tips for summer food safety

The more people cook outdoors at picnics and barbecues, the greater the chance that bacteria can multiply on food and make people sick.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service offers the following tips.

• Perishable food should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours, and no more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 F.

• Stock your cooler with ice or frozen gel packs to help to keep perishable foods cold.

• If you are eating outdoors away from home, find out if there is a source of clean water.   If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning, or pack moist towelettes.

• Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water.

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