Summer is here! Oh yes. Can you feel the heat? It is sizzling and it's the season for delicious dishes to be prepared and served in many different ways, some conventional and some not so conventional. You need to arm yourself with helpful tips to keep food safe to prevent you from getting food-borne illnesses.

There are four parts to this series, so come back to learn more:

• Keep it Cold
• Keep it Clean
• Cook it Thoroughly
• Keep Hot Foods Hot and
• Cold Foods Cold

Keep it Cold:

• When buying perishable items, including meat, buy right before checking out. Don't leave food sitting in your car for longer than 30 minutes.
• Immediately place perishable foods in the refrigerator or freezer upon returning home from the grocery store.
• Keep refrigerated products cold and frozen products frozen solid. Maintain refrigerator temperature under 40 Degrees F and the freezer temperature at 0 Degrees F. Store meat, poultry and fish in the coldest part of the refrigerator, on a low shelf at the back. Space items so that air can circulate freely around them,
• Thaw meat, poultry and fish in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or on a dish to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods.
• Do not thaw on kitchen counter or in warm water.
• For quick thawing, use the microwave oven according to manufacturer's directions and cook defrosted food immediately.
• Always marinate meat, poultry and fish in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
Too often, we become negligent in handling food properly at the grocery store when shopping.
• Put raw meat, poultry or fish in separate plastic bags before setting in your cart so juices don't leak onto other foods.
• Keep everything that touches food clean - hands, utensils, bowls, cutting boards and counter tops.
• Wash your hands with warm, soapy water, prior to preparing any food, and after handling raw meat, poultry and fish.
• Use separate platters, cutting boards, trays and utensils for cooked and uncooked meat, poultry and fish.
• To sanitize cutting surfaces, wash with a solution of two to three teaspoons of household bleach in one quart of warm water or other recommended natural sanitizing brand. Rinse with plain hot water.
This is a very critical part of the process and sometimes overlooked.
• Cook ground meat thoroughly, to uniform internal temperature of 160 Degrees F, until the center is no longer pink.
• Ground poultry should be cooked to at least 165 Degrees F, until juices run clear.
• Use a meat thermometer for roasts, thick steaks, chops and poultry; placing it at the thickest portion of the meat, not touching bone or fat. Cook stuffing for poultry (chicken or turkey) separately in a baking dish, or if cooking in the cavity of the bird, remove stuffing promptly after it's cooked.
• Don't interrupt cooking by partially cooking food and then finishing later. Partially cooked food may not reach a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria.
• Don't use a marinade that's been in contact with raw meat, fish or poultry as a sauce for the cooked food without first bringing the marinade to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

This is the fourth part of the series, also the make it and break it episode that imminent danger will result if the aforementioned practices were not followed.

• Keep hot foods hot (140 Degrees or higher) and cold foods cold (40 Degrees F or below).
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers immediately.
• For more rapid cooling, use small, shallow containers (less than two inches deep). Divide large portions into smaller ones to speed cooling time.
• Never refreeze thawed meat, poultry or fish that hasn't been cooked.
• separately in a baking dish, or if cooking in the cavity of the bird, remove stuffing promptly after it's cooked.
• Don't interrupt cooking by partially cooking food and then finishing later. Partially cooked food may not reach a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria.
• Don't use a marinade that's been in contact with raw meat, fish or poultry as a sauce for the cooked food without first bringing the marinade to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

This is the fourth part of the series, also the make it and break it episode that imminent danger will result if the aforementioned practices were not followed.

• Keep hot foods hot (140 Degrees or higher) and cold foods cold (40 Degrees F or below).
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers immediately.
• For more rapid cooling, use small, shallow containers (less than two inches deep). Divide large portions into smaller ones to speed cooling time.
• Never refreeze thawed meat, poultry or fish that hasn't been cooked.

Author's Bio: 

I believe that knowledge can be empowering and the more we understand our bodies and the mechanisms that cause illness, the more committed we become to getting better. Through my Hope Nutritional Services, I am devoted to educating you about your body, how it works and how to nourish, heal and nurture it.

Hope’s mission in life is to lead by example and to help others along the way via her platforms – to provide evidence based scientific information, products/tools, and services, and donate to charitable causes. Through her partnership company, she can help to transform individuals’ lives with innovative, anti-aging products, integrative science based supplements, health and beauty products and business opportunities for like minded business leaders or people who want to start their business in helping others.

For Integrative Healthy Lifestyle: http://www.hopenutriservices.com

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