- Author: Patti C. Wooten Swanson
What's on your 4th of July menu? Follow these tips to be sure it's safe.
Cook until steaming hot before eating.
Although hot dogs are fully cooked, people who are at increased risk for foodborne illness (FBI) should heat hot dogs until steaming to avoid listeriosis, a rare but serious FBI.
High risk groups include: young children, pregnant women, adults over age 65, and those with chronic diseases (such as diabetes). http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/hotdog_safety.html
Wash all melons before slicing.
Any bacteria present on the outside of a melon can be transferred to the inside when you cut or peel them. Scrub the rind with a clean soft brush under cool running water and dry with paper towels. Refrigerate cut fruit until serving. http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/8121.pdf
Potato salad and deviled eggs
Keep it cold in the refrigerator or ice chest.
The same goes for pasta salad, cole slaw or fruit salads. Once served, don't let it sit out for more than 2 hours (referred to as the 2 hour rule), or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90° F. If it does - throw it away.
Homemade ice cream
Avoid recipes that use raw or undercooked eggs.
Most recipes for homemade ice cream call for raw or undercooked eggs. Avoid potential food safety problems by using pasteurized egg product instead of raw eggs (find it in the dairy case at the grocery store). Or choose a recipe that doesn't use eggs. http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemadeicecream.html
Keep refrigerated until serving. Put dessert back in the fridge as soon as you're done.
Love those red, white and blue deserts---red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, strawberry-blueberry trifle, cherry cheesecake. Refrigerate any dessert (or salad) made with whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese or meringue.