Canada’s changing seasons
- Storing food is different in summer.
- Foods spoil faster with the heat.
- Foods need more care. Harmful bacteria grows faster in warm and moist conditions. This causes food to spoil quickly.
Basic food safety tips:
- Do not leave food outside for more than an hour.
Refrigerate or freeze fresh food after grocery shopping.Know how long food leftovers have been in the fridge.
- Keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 4 °C to 60 °C.
- Harmful bacteria grow quickly in this temperature range.
- Never leave food at room temperature for more than an hour.
Download the fridge and freezer storage chart on Canada.ca.
- Eat leftovers within 3-4 days.
- Reheat the food before serving.
Don’t leave marinating meat on the table or counter.
- It is a guide. It shows the right temperature for storing:
- cold cuts
- It shows how long you can keep them.
- Refrigerate. Put it inside a cooler.
- Don’t use leftover marinade on cooked food.
- Bring a cooler during a barbecue or picnic.
Avoid cross contamination.
- Store food in a cooler filled with ice packs.
- Put raw meat in sealed containers. Juices won’t leak out and cross-contaminate other items in the cooler.
- Use a separate cooler for drinks.
- Keep cooler out of direct sunlight.
- Cross-contamination is when bacteria are transferred from one substance to another.
- Bacteria from raw meat can reach vegetables and fruits when it is not kept in sealed containers.
- When cooking:
- Use separate containers for raw and cooked food.
- Use separate cutting boards, utensils, and dishes when preparing food.
- Wash your hands and utensils before handling raw ingredients.
- Thaw meats completely.
- Thaw meats completely so that they cook evenly.
- Thaw meats in the refrigerator not on the counter.
- Use microwave to defrost. Cook the meat immediately after.
- Clean the grill.
- Remove the rust and dirt from the grill before barbecuing.
- Use a brush or use steel wool.
- Use crumpled aluminum foil.
- Check the bristles of the barbecue brush.
- Bristles can get loose and stick to the grill.
- Bristles can be transferred to the food. This can injure you and your family.
- Use a food thermometer.
- Bacteria on food survive because of improper heating and preparation.
- Meat color is not a good indicator that it is fully cooked and bacteria-free.
- Check the internal temperature of cooked food. Use a digital food thermometer.
- The Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures chart is a good guide.
Shopping for food
- Buy frozen or refrigerated food in the grocery last.
- Pick up meat, fish, poultry, cheeses, and ice cream last.
- Store them quickly in your freezer when you get home.
Buy fresh produce.
- Put raw meat, fish, and poultry in individual bags.
- Use different bag for vegetables and fruits.
- Use a cooler in your car for storing food that spoil easily.
- Farmers’ markets open on weekends in the summer.
- They sell locally grown fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy.
- Check the Farmers’ Markets Association of Manitoba Co-Op website.
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are free of bruises and blemishes.
Four simple steps to remember when handling food:
- Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap. Do this 20 seconds before and after handling food.
Don’t cross contaminate.
Observe the proper internal temperature of cooked foods.
- Chill leftovers and takeout foods within two hours.
- The right temperature for chilling food is below 4°C.
Sources: Seasonal Food Safety, The Government of Canada; Summer and Vacations, Foodsafety.gov; and What can I do to keep my food safe?,Dieticians of Canada. Retrieved and updated April 17, 2018.
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