Summer Shopping Tips Keep Foods Safe
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Summer heat can increase food safety risks. If the temperature is 90 degrees F or above, perishable food at room temperature can be at risk of contamination after one, rather than two, hours, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension Rapid Response Coordinator.
Summer food safety mistakes before, during or after food shopping can put consumers at risk for foodborne illness, said Blakeslee, who offered food safety tips to minimize risks:
* Running errands? Make the stop at the farmers’ market or grocery store the last stop before going home.
* Separate groceries as you shop -- or at checkout. Place perishable foods in a cooler; pack fresh produce gently.
* Place groceries in an air-conditioned car or truck, out of direct sunlight.
* At home, store perishable foods first.
* Brush dirt from produce before storing it; wash produce before eating it raw, cutting into it, or adding it to a recipe. Cutting into fruits and vegetables without first washing them may transfer microorganisms to the edible portion.
* Separate raw foods from cooked foods; wrap or cover foods before refrigerating them to prevent cross contamination and migration of flavors.
“Wash hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw and cooked foods,” Blakeslee said. “If water will be unavailable at a picnic or outdoor event, packing a wet washcloth and soap in a re-sealable plastic bag; hand sanitizer or towelette can help to reduce risks.”
More information on food and food safety is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices and on Blakeslee’s food safety Web site: www.ksre.ksu.edu/foodsafety/.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Nancy Petersonnancyp@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Karen Blakeslee is at 785-532-1673.