USA: PA Dept. of Agriculture: Think `Food Safety First' to Serve Safe, Summer Foods
On behalf of Gov. Tom Ridge, state Agriculture Secretary Samuel E. Hayes Jr. today urged Pennsylvanians to think "Food Safety First" as they prepare for the summer cookout season."We want everyone to think 'Food Safety First' when enjoying their summer cookouts," Hayes said. "Pennsylvania farmers work hard to produce wholesome and nutritious food for consumers. As people handle and prepare summer favorites, it is up to everyone to make sure that harmful bacteria does not have a chance to develop during the process. Summer cookouts should be fun for everyone!"According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Food Safety, storing food at the proper temperature plays a critical role in food safety. Keeping cold food cold or hot food hot is very important. From the time food leaves the market until it remains as leftovers at the end of a meal, proper care is critical.With outside temperatures on the rise, foods can quickly reach what is known as the "temperature danger zone." Between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria quickly multiply, increasing the chances for food-related illnesses. To prevent this from occurring, cold foods should be maintained at an internal temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and hot foods above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means a refrigerator should maintain a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
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