1) Bacteria/Microorganisms grow faster in the warm weather. They grow
fastest at 90F -110F. They also need moisture to grow and summers are frequently hot and humid.
2) It is more common to cook outside (picnics, camping, etc) and, obviously, there are not the same facilities that you have at home – cooking, refrigeration, washing, etc.
Unwashed hands are a big cause of foodborne illness.
Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling pets. If you are going to a picnic site and there is no water for washing up, bring soap/water with you.
Disposable wipes are fine for most cleaning, they are not enough to clean your hands after handling raw meat.
Cross-contamination during preparation, grilling, and serving food is another prime cause of foodborne illness.
When you pack your cooler for a picnic, wrap any raw meat really well and place it at the bottom of the cooler. That will decrease the chance that it will come in contact with other food or contaminate other food if the meat package leaks.
Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held the raw meat or poultry before using again for cooked food - or use two separate plates/platters
Don't use marinade on cooked/cooking food
For food to be safely cooked, it has to be heated for long enough and at a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria that can make you sick (ex. salmonella, e. coli, etc.)
The safest plan is to take you meat thermometer along with you. Meat and poultry cooked on a hot grill often browns very fast on the outside, but may not be cooked thoroughly. Also, burgers can turn brown inside before they have reached a safe temperature.
Cook meat and poultry completely at the picnic site. Cooking food "most of the way" ahead of time with the intent of "finishing it" at the picnic, allows some bacteria inside to survive and continue to multiply. The brief "finishing" cooking time isn't enough to kill the remaining bacteria.
145F - Beef
160F - Ground Meat
165F - Poultry
Chill: Refrigerate Promptly
Holding food at an unsafe temperature is an easy way to get sick! Keep cold food cold!
Food needs to be below 40 degrees or cooler to be safe. Bacteria grows very well on lukewarm food
Food is generally safe unrefrigerated for 2 hours. However, if it is above 90F
degrees, that time drops to 1 hour. Serve, eat, get food back into the
Leftovers – if in doubt, throw it out
Cold refrigerated perishable food like deli meat, cooked meats, chicken and potato or pasta salad should be kept in insulated cooler packed with several inches of ice, ice packs or containers of frozen water
Pack drinks in a separate cooler than the perishable food. The beverage cooler will be opened more often, letting out the cold.
Keep your cooler in the coolest part of the car or in the shade
Keep the cooler cold by replenishing the ice as soon as it starts to melt