There is only one rule when it comes to outdoor cooking this summer. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
“Keeping food at the proper temperatures – indoors and out – is critical in preventing the growth of food borne bacteria that causes food poisoning,” said Doctor Kin Lee.
Cold perishable food should be kept in a cooler at 5 degrees Celsius until serving time. Hot food should be kept hot, at or above 60 degrees Celsius.
Between 5 – 60 degrees Celsius is the Danger Zone. Food poisoning bacteria rapidly multiply between these temperatures.
“Healthy immune systems can deal with small amounts of bacteria, but at high levels they can make us quite sick,” explained Doctor Lee.
Preventing ‘cross-contamination’ when preparing food outdoors is also important. Never use a plate or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood for serving unless they have been washed in hot soapy water.
If you experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, headaches and fever after eating food prepared indoors or out, consult your doctor.
“Treatment for food poisoning depends on the source of bacteria and the severity of symptoms,” said Doctor Lee.