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Events, Food and Safety

Warmer temperatures are very inviting for organizations to hold outdoor events, such as BBQs, picnics and festivals. Providing food can be an essential element to these events, as it supplements an entertaining atmosphere and encourages positive relations and connections among employees, volunteers and members. The Partnership for Food Safety Education provides steps to safe food this summer:

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling food. Hands should be scrubbed for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Be cautious with marinate. Marinate food in the refrigerator, and do not use marinate for raw meat on cooked meat. Instead, save an unused portion of marinate as a sauce.
  3. Preheat the coals on your grill for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Make sure cooked food reaches an appropriate internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to see if it is at a safe temperature.
  5. Make sure cooked food is placed on a serving dish that did not previously hold raw meat. If food is being served outdoors and it is warmer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure food does not sit out for more than an hour.

Make sure coolers are full with extra ice or freezer packs, as a full cooler will maintain its cold temperatures longer than one that is partially filled. Keep coolers out of the direct sunlight, and have separate coolers for drinks and food. For more information on food safety, review the Preparing, Serving and Storing Food Safely fact sheet on

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