Arts & Culture Health & Environment

Summer Food Safety Tips from NEW Health

by Mary Wright, RN, health educator at North End Waterfront Health

Hot weather often causes people to lose their appetite but it is important to eat and drink enough to keep you healthy. When it is hot and you do not feel like eating big meals, have 5 or 6 smaller snack like meals during the day. Be sure to drink plenty of water — at least 8 glasses during the day. For cool meals or snacks, eat fruits and vegetables that do not need to be cooked.

Food safety is very important during the hot weather. Chill or refrigerate perishable foods promptly. Do not eat raw or under-cooked meat, poultry, eggs, or fish. If you are marinating food, don’t reuse the marinade.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. When in doubt about the safety of food, throw it out. For example, if food has been left at room temperature longer than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is higher than 90 degrees), throw it out. Do not taste it.

If you are going on a picnic, be sure to pack your cooler safely. Use cold packs and keep cold foods at the bottom of the cooler. Use separate coolers for foods and beverages. Remember to clean the surfaces of the picnic tables.