Labor Day falls on September 2nd this year. Labor Day celebrations at home or town parks are common. It’s a day of celebration and socialization, but have you thought about food safety?
Your parents are more susceptible to food poisoning as they age. A large outdoor gathering or picnic may be fun, but it also increases the risk of improper food handling. These are the things to watch.
What Steps Are Taken When Cooking Meats?
Grilled chicken, hot dogs, and hamburgers are typical foods found at a Labor Day celebration. They’re also all prime for improper cooking techniques. Chicken must be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Hamburgers need to be cooked to 160 degrees. Hot dogs also must be fully cooked to 140 degrees.
Once cooked, the meats need to be served immediately or kept in warming trays that keep the internal temperature hot enough. Bacteria grow between 40 and 140 degrees. Someone needs to keep checking the internal temperature and making sure meats aren’t getting cool enough for harmful bacteria to grow.
Egg and Mayo Salads Need Refrigeration
Potato and pasta salads with eggs or mayonnaise need to be kept refrigerated. Placing a bowl in a tray of ice water helps keep these salads cool enough. You can also keep the salads in large freezer bags in a cooler until it’s time to serve them.
Once people have served themselves, move the salads back to a cooler. This will prevent bacteria from spoiling the mayonnaise and increasing the risk of food poisoning.
Keep Paper Towels and a Spray Bottle of Bleach Solution Available
While grilling, a meat thermometer needs to be used to check the temperature regularly. Between uses, you need to sterilize that thermometer and any utensils that have been used to turn the meats. It can be hard to do that when you’re in a park and not near a kitchen.
In order to sterilize any forks and thermometers that are used, spray them with a solution of bleach and boiled water and wipe clean with a paper towel. To make the sanitizer, boil a gallon of water to kill any contaminants and allow it to cool. Add a tablespoon of bleach. Pour into a spray bottle and store the remaining sanitizer.
Pay Attention to Food Recalls
Make sure you check for food recalls regularly. You’ll find them at foodsafety.gov. Once a food recall is shared, it can take time for grocery stores to remove the items from shelves.
You don’t want to inadvertently buy lettuce, serve it at a Labor Day gathering, and find out there was a recall. It’s best to check recalls regularly and lower the risk of food poisoning.
Don’t Get Lax at Home
Maintain safe food handling practices in your parents’ home. Elder care aides can help. You can hire caregivers to wash dishes, wipe down dishes, and put away food when your parents have their meals. Discuss services and fees by calling an elder care agency.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elder Care in Seminole, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.
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