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Monday's Health Report: Food tips and tricks for staying healthy, safe during summer picnics

1 month 1 week 6 days ago Monday, June 03 2024 Jun 3, 2024 June 03, 2024 5:56 PM June 03, 2024 in Health
Source: CNN

BATON ROUGE — Summer picnics can be a great way to get outside and spend time with family. But improper handling of the food can mean trouble.

Experts recommend that when you open the cooler, it's important keep an eye on the clock.

"The general rule is to have food out only two hours. However, on a hot day – 90 and above – you want to limit the time that food is out in that hot weather to one hour," dietitian Kate Zeratsky said. "You might even consider a bowl of ice. And, then, sit your food container in that ice. That can help maintain a cool temperature."

Zeratsky's second tip: Pay special attention to proteins.

"Bacteria like protein," she said.

So keep meat cold until it hits the grill. Then, use a meat thermometer to make sure it's cooked to a safe temperature. At least 160 degrees for ground meats and 165 for poultry.

She also said it is important to shield your sweets, including the ones from Mother Nature.

"Fruit, with its natural sugars, is going to attract some bugs. So you might want to keep it covered," Zeratsky said. "When in doubt, throw it out. You don't want anyone to get sick."

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