Health and Family Services Cabinet
Don’t Get Sidelined by Foodborne Illness
Department for Public Health Warns of Potential Health Hazards of Tailgating Season
It’s the fall sports season – a time for football, horse racing, tailgating and being extra mindful of food safety.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health urges consumers to follow a few simple food safety tips to avoid contracting an illness related to improperly prepared or stored food items.
“We want to make sure all Kentuckians have a safe and fun tailgating season,” said William Hacker, M.D., acting undersecretary for health and public health commissioner. “The best way to do that is to follow some of our most basic food safety guidelines.”
Here are a few tips to ensure the safest tailgating season:
· Keep hands clean. Use soap and clean water followed by drying hands with a clean paper towel when available; or use items such as hand wipes to help keep your hands clean when cooking.
· Don’t cross-contaminate. If at all possible, always wash your hands before and after handling food. When prepping food at home, keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. Separate raw meats from ready to eat foods.
· Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keep cold foods chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or less with ice, ice packs and insulated containers. Serve hot foods immediately.
· Cook thoroughly: If you’re cooking foods ahead of time for your party, be sure to cook them thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.
Also remember to use a metal stem thermometer to check meats at the thickest part. Do not to leave foods sitting out too long after preparation is complete. During hot weather, don’t leave food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
For more information, call (502) 564-7181 or visit the food safety Web site at http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food.htm. Additional information can be obtained from the Kentucky Public Health Association at http://www.kpha-ky.org.