New app helps you keep your summer food safe
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, thoughts turn to cookouts, picnics and summertime days at the lake. It's also a good time for a refresher on food handling and safety in the great hot outdoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year approximately 48 million Americans suffer from food-borne illnesses, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Many of those illnesses can be prevented by changing food handling and service and gaining a little summertime confidence.
So how long should those egg salad or ham and cheese sandwiches sit out in the hot sun before serving? What about the potato salad?
"Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours," said Lynn Null, Oklahoma State University Extension director for Comanche County and family consumer sciences educator. "If it is above 90 degrees outside, DO NOT leave it out for more than one hour. On hot summer days, keep perishable food in a cooler and keep hot foods hot until ready to serve."
Last month the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its FoodKeeper mobile app, which contains specific guidance on more than 400 food and beverage items, including safe cooking recommendations for meat, poultry and seafood products.