For those whose end-of-summer plans include a backyard bash or packing up the camper for a trip, putting food safety at the top of the to-do list should be a priority.
That’s because, according to Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Baruch Fertel, bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli thrive in warm environments.
“When the temperatures are up, if items are left out, it’s just a better medium for these bacteria to thrive and that’s why we will see people that are affected more by these diarrheal illness commonly known as food poisoning,” he said.
Certain foods are more likely to grow bacteria, but with good general food safety preparation, most foodborne illnesses can be prevented using four main points -- clean, separate, cook and chill.
First, make sure food and preparation surfaces are clean.
Then, make it a point to keep meat and veggies separate to avoid cross-contamination.
“When you have poultry, or you’re cooking on the grill, and you have meat, ground beef -- items like that -- don’t keep them near fresh fruits and vegetables,” Fertel said. “Whatever plate you use to prepare your meat should go either in the dishwasher or be disposed of after use.”
Next, Fertel advises those doing the cooking to be sure to thoroughly cook all poultry and meat.