Summertime means good eats...and proper food preparation
by Asha Robles
Guam - It's summertime! And with that, it is also the time for fiestas, barbeques, and picnics. While this is a time for family fun it is also a time when protecting against a foodborne illness is a must. Here are some helpful tips to make sure you don't have any uninvited guests like bacteria showing up to your table.
Health educator of the Department of Public Health and Social Services Francis Epres told KUAM News, "Microorganisms that cause foodborne illness happens when the temperature ranges between the danger zone which is between 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So always remember don't place those foods in those temperature. One of those agents or microorganisms that could possibly happen are those like the E.coli, salmonella, and even neuron virus at that. But most often than that especially in this hot weather and during summer salmonella is one of those causing agents that would spoil your food or cause foodborne illness."
During the summer months it is critical that food is handled safely when eating outdoors and as Epres, from Public Health's Environmental Safety Program shares, there are several simple guidelines for grilling food safely. "So, first thing that we need to remember is that when we transport food, the container by which we place it are the coolers and we should place gel pack on it. And things like that. And the temperature should be 45 degrees and below," he explained.
"When it comes to marinating the food for grilling we should marinate the food that we are trying to prepare for grilling inside the refrigerator, not on the countertop, or outside but it should be inside the refrigerator."
When it is time to grill your food make sure it is cooked to a safe internal temperature, noting, "Appearance and look alone is not enough to makes sure that the food you cooked or grilled are good enough to eat. A food thermometer would be the most reliable way by which we could say if the food you cooked is good enough to eat."
Sticking to these food safety tips and always remembering to never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs will ensure there is no cross-contamination. In addition to this it is important to have clean utensils and platters on hand.