How to avoid food-borne illness during outdoor parties

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Dietitian, Trish Brimhall,  shared a few reminders to help prevent food-borne illness.

  1. Wash produce well. The best way to eliminate bacteria from fresh fruits and veggies is to rinse well under running water. Always wash before cutting - (cantaloupe, pineapple, etc) since the knife edge will carry the bacteria through the fruit if you cut unwashed produce.
  2. If you remember only one number on your food thermometer - it should be 165. Cooking and reheating foods thoroughly is key to eliminating foodborne illness. And it's not just checking the temperature of that chicken breast in the oven - but leftovers as well. If you are at work and don`t have a thermometer on hand when you heat up your lunch, make sure that the center of the food is piping hot. Warm just won`t cut it.
  3. Keep an eye on the clock when entertaining. Don`t leave food out for more than 2 hours. At that point, it should be in the fridge in shallow, quickly-cool-able containers. For picnic season - be sure to bring plenty of ice and keep the cooler closed. If food is forgotten and left out for longer or an unknown period of time, throw it out. It`s always better to throw out than throw up.
  4. Keep it clean. Avoid cross contamination by having separate cutting boards, etc. and be sure to sanitize an area after preparing raw eggs, meat, fish or poultry. The most effective is also the cheapest. 1 Tbsp. bleach in 1 gallon of water makes a great sanitizing solution for wiping down surfaces in your kitchen. And don`t forget to microwave your kitchen dishrag or sponge. Wet your rag or sponge, then microwave for 2 minutes on high to kill any bacteria making a home in your most-used cleaning tool.

For more tips from Trish go to