Summer heat can undermine food safety

Dec 06, 2010

Don't forget food safety when planning a picnic.

Fun summer activities like barbecues and picnics can present a higher risk of coming down with a food-borne illness, which is why it makes sense to take some basic safety precautions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5,000 people die each year from food-borne illnesses. Some 325,000 people are hospitalized each year in such incidents. This may serve as a reminder to some people that even if they are young and healthy, investing in a life insurance policy can still be a wise way to provide family members with long-term financial protection.

The Food and Drug Administration offers people some information on steps they can take to avoid becoming another casualty of food-borne illnesses.

For example, improper handling of meats can greatly increase one's risk of becoming sickened or worse from food. The FDA reminds people to be careful when marinating meats - such as keeping them in the refrigerator.

It's also important to thoroughly cook meats thoroughly and to keep them stored at a sufficiently cool temperature off to the side of the grill if they will not be consumed right away. Elsewhere, items that contain mayonnaise, such as chicken salad, should be stored properly in coolers at all times so they are not tainted in the summer heat.

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