Include Food Safety In Picnic Planning

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Food Safety In Picnic Planning

If a picnic figures prominently in your plans this summer, the Will County Health Department reminds you that food safety is a must when outdoor activities are in the offing.

Take extra precautions when preparing, cooking or storing food. Picnics are a great source of summer fun, but foodborne illness can result if simple safety guidelines are ignored.

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Preparation: Always wash hands thoroughly before touching any food. Hand washing is especially important before, during and after handling raw fish, poultry, or meat. If running water isn't available, use hand wipes with alcohol to help insure clean hands.

Avoid the potential for cross-contamination by using clean utensils for each food item you prepare. Knives used in the preparation of meat, fish or poultry can easily transfer bacteria to other foods you're planning to prepare a little while later. Cutting boards can also harbor bacteria, and these surfaces should be cleaned frequently.

Be sure to wash fresh fruit and vegetables under cold running water before preparation. Fruit and vegetables should be wrapped and stored in separate containers to avoid potential contamination from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

Cooking: Fish, poultry and other meats should always be completely thawed before cooking begins. Thorough cooking is vital.

The center of cooked hamburger patties should never be pink, and all juices should run clear. As a rule, cook hamburger and ribs to 160

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