Better Safe than Sorry: Food Safety Tips for Summer Outdoor Parties

Food Safety TipsNow that spring is ending and warm, humid days are ushering in wonderfully, nothing beats a fun outdoor party with friends and family. While there are dozens of outdoor festivals lined up across the country until February, it’s nice to host your own intimate party or picnic with your treasured guests.

To have a memorable time, planning ahead is key. Once you’ve prepared a venue, sent invites to guests, and created a menu, it’s time to get some cooking and packing done. But there’s one more important thing that you should keep in mind. Food handling experts provide four tips to make sure your outdoor party meals stay fresh and safe to eat.

Keep It Fresh and Seasonal

Depending on where your venue is, it pays to keep your menu simple. If you’re heading to a picnic somewhere far and you’ve pre-cooked your meals at home, you’d want your food to be ready for the sun as you are.

To prevent spoiling, craft your menu around the freshest local and seasonal produce. Go for sturdier vegetables such as bell pepper, carrot, spinach, kale, watercress, heirloom tomatoes, collard greens and radish. Serve up the fresh punch with the best fruits in season, or serve them in iced bite-sized chunks.

Proper Food Handling

Spoiled food can spoil the summer fun and harm your guests, so you should really be extra careful when handling your dishes. Experts at note that hot weather supports the growth of harmful food bugs.

If you’re serving grilled meat, make sure to cook it to the proper temperature to destroy the pathogens. Use a thermometer to make sure the food is cooked through. Keep cook food hot or warm, either on the side of the grill or in a crockpot.

Don’t leave any raw food unrefrigerated for over 2 hours. For picnics, transporting food in a cooler is the best method. Defrost meat in the refrigerator and not on the countertop as it only allows food bugs to grow. Summer is a perfect time for grilling, but there are certain health risks that come with improper grilling.

Summertime offers many opportunities for families and friends to get together. Host a memorable outdoor party by serving a fresh, healthy and delectable feast that resonates with the summer vibe.