We often move eating and cooking outside when the weather warms. Unfortunately, bacteria grow quickly at warm temperatures, so we need to take precautions to keep food safe. Try these questions to see what you know about summer food safety. The answers are at the end.
- Cross-contamination occurs when one food can make another food unsafe because of the transfer of bacteria from one food to another. Choose the example(s) where cross-contamination can happen.
a. Storing a package of cookies and a container of lemonade mix in the same picnic basket.
b. Storing a package of raw meat on top of beverage cans in a cooler filled with ice.
c. Using one cutting board to cut up pieces of chicken and a separate cutting board to cut up watermelon.
- The temperature is 92 F, and you have placed a bowl of potato salad on a picnic table. How long will the food stay safe at this temperature?
a. 30 minutes
b. 60 minutes
Note: To help ensure safety, serve the salad bowl nested in ice.
- True or False: You should not partly cook meat at home and then finish cooking the meat at a picnic site later that day. (See the tip of the month for more information.)
- To what internal temperature should you cook chicken, as measured with a food thermometer?
b. 155 F
c. 165 F
d. 175 F
- True or False: Always use a clean plate or tray (not the plate or tray that held the raw meat) when retrieving food from a grill.
- To what internal temperature should you cook burgers (ground beef) as measured with a food thermometer?
a. 150 F
c. 170 F
d. 180 F
- True or False: You always should marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the kitchen counter or outdoors.
See www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/food-safety for more information about food safety.
How did you do? Six or seven correct: You’re a food safety pro! Four or five correct: Good job but review the rules before your next picnic. Three or fewer correct: You can do better. Please check out the food safety resources on our website.
Answers: 1. b; 2. b; 3. True; 4. c; 5. True; 6. b. 7. True
Here’s a tasty treat to bring along on a picnic or hike this summer. However, don’t leave them in the sun too long. They will stay safe, but they may get very soft!
½ c. milk
½ c. peanut butter
½ c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ c. sugar
2½ c. quick-cooking oats
½ c. canola oil
In 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, mix milk, cocoa, sugar and oil. Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla, then add oats. When dough is well-blended, put into a greased 8- by 8-inch pan and cut into bars or drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Let cool.
Makes 20 servings. Each serving has 170 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 35 mg sodium.
Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., is a professor and food and nutrition specialist with the NDSU Extension Service in Fargo.