Greene County News
XENIA — As the grilling and picnic season begins in earnest this weekend with Memorial Day and graduation celebrations, Greene County Public Health officials are reminding the public about safe food handling during picnic and grilling season.
“It is important to prepare and transport food safely to prevent foodborne illnesses, including Salmonella,” a GCPH release stated. “With a little bit of planning, spring and summer holidays and gatherings can be fun and safe for all.”
GCPH reminds the public about the following:
Temperature: Bacteria begin to multiply between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is important to keep food either hot or cold right up to the moment of cooking and/or serving. Cold food should always be kept cold at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Also, only place small portions of food out and replenish as needed.
For hot foods, 135 degrees Fahrenheit is the magic temperature to keep food hot. Do not let food sit out for more than two hours at room temperature. It is important to use a clean and calibrated food thermometer to check the internal temperatures of the food you are cooking, holding and serving.
Clean: According to the Partnership for Food Safety Education, 65 percent of consumers don’t wash hands before starting meal preparation. Don’t be a statistic this season. Keep hands clean by using soap and very warm water and scrubbing for 20 seconds. Rinse well and dry with a paper towel. Use hot soapy water and a clean paper towel on tables and counters. Rinse and scrub fruits and vegetables under running water.
Separate: Use two separate cutting boards, one for raw meats only and a different one for fresh, washed produce. Keep utensils separate to keep germs that are naturally occurring on raw meat from getting onto the fresh, washed produce. Always place cooked meat on a clean plate. Make sure cooked meat does not come into contact with raw meat juices.
For more information, call Greene County Public Health at 937-374-5606.
Content provided by Greene County Public Health.