Heating it Up: Summer Food Safety for Your Family
Marinades used with raw poultry or meat must not be used on cooked food. To use them on ready-to-eat food, boil the used marinade first or save fresh marinade specifically for cooked food.
When packing a cooler for an outing, wrap raw poultry and meat carefully or put it in sealable plastic bags so the juices don't leak onto ready-to-eat food. Likewise, do not cut your fruit or vegetables on the same board you used for slicing raw poultry or meat.
Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held the raw meat or poultry before using again for cooked food. Don't put your child's grilled hamburger on the same plate you used to take the raw patty to the grill—carry a clean plate to the grill for cooked food.
If you're packing for a camping trip or barbecue at a friend's house, plan on using your cooler. It's crucial that perishable food stays cold or frozen until ready to cook or serve. You may want to take meat directly from the freezer to your cooler to really keep it at optimal temperature. According to Fight BAC!, meat, chicken, and seafood should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours—and when temperatures rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, reduce that time to one hour.
A full cooler will keep items cold longer than one partially filled, so pack plenty of ice or freezer packs. Consider using one cooler for beverages and another for perishable foods, since you'll likely open the beverage cooler more frequently. It also helps to pack your cooler putting the items you are likely to consume first on the top.
Transport your cold foods in the air-conditioned part of the car rather than the trunk, and when you get to your picnic spot, don't leave your cooler or hamper in the hot car. Put it into a shady spot, instead.
Lastly, put leftover foods back in the cooler as soon as you are done eating them and throw away all perishable foods once the freezer packs have warmed or the ice in your cooler has melted. When in doubt about the safety of a food, toss it!