Summer Food Safety Tips

Food safety expert Dr. Ruth Petran shares advice for summer meals
Jun 29, 2018 10:30 AM ET

Summer eating is wonderful – from grilling in your backyard to picking fresh vegetables at the farmers’ market to camping cookouts – there’s so much to enjoy. Don’t ruin your summer fun with a foodborne illness. Here are five tips from Dr. Ruth Petran, Ecolab food safety expert, to keep your food safe this summer:

1.  Firing up the grill? Cook your meats to the proper temperatures:

  • Cook chicken to 165°F/ 73.8°C.
  • Cook ground meats to 160°F/ 71.1°C.
  • Cook steak or pork chops to 145°F/ 62.7°C.

2.  Packing a cooler for the beach? Keep your food at safe temperatures:

  • Keep food that needs to be served cold at less than 41°F/ 5°C until you’re ready to start cooking or serving.
  • Keep food that you want to serve warm, hotter than 140°F/ 60°C.

3.  Preparing for a picnic? Keep your food prep clean:

  • Make sure you have clean water readily available for clean-up during and after you cook.
  • Wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds.
  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and food prep areas with hot, soapy water.

4.  Hosting a backyard barbeque? Separate raw and cooked meats to avoid cross contamination:

  • Use separate utensils, platters and cutting boards.

5.  Headed to the farmers’ market? Avoid unsafe food:

  • Only buy food items that do not appear to be damaged.
  • Follow the recommended storage temperatures and times to make sure your fruits and vegetables are high quality.
  • Wash the produce before eating to remove visible soil, unless it’s marked “pre-washed.”

For more information, visit