Indiana State Offers Food Safety Tips For A Safer Summer

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Summer Food Safety Tips

Indiana health officials are offering some timely food safety tips.

"The single best way to prepare and consume food safely is to wash your hands before cooking, serving, or eating," said Scott Gilliam, of the Indiana State Department of Health's Food Protection Program. "Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw meat, like ground beef or poultry."

"Food temperature is also important," Gilliam said. "If a food is intended to be served hot, make sure to cook it fully before serving it. On the other hand, if a food is intended to be served cold, keep it cold. Never let cold food sit out for an extended period of time. If you're serving cold pasta salad, store it in a refrigerator or a cooler and put it out on the picnic table right before the food is served."

According to Gilliam, another effective technique to avoid food-borne illness is to buy a good meat thermometer and use it to make sure that meat is cooked to its appropriate temperature.

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"Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees for at least 15 seconds, pork should cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for at least three minutes, and poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds," Gilliam said.

If you don't have a meat thermometer, cook meats until the juices run clear. Ground beef should be brown or at least brownish pink in the center before it is served.

Gilliam also warned people who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or sore throat with fever or jaundice should not handle food or utensils.

"Try to minimize the direct handling of ready-to-eat foods with bare hands as much as possible," Gilliam said. "Use utensils whenever possible when handling salads, sandwiches, etc."

Health officials also recommend the following food safety tips: