Summertime Health Tips!
Keeping Food Safe During Buffets or PicnicsMinnesota Department of Health Consumer Fact Sheet
Revised August, 2011
Buffets or picnics can be a great way to serve lots of different, delicious foods to large gatherings of people for special occasions, such as holidays or graduations. But they can also be a means to transmit disease among your guests if care is not taken in how the food is handled. Common causes of food-borne illnesses include norovirus,SalmonellaandE. coliO157:H7
Here are some tips to help you have a SAFE party.
Handle Food Safely
- Always wash your hands before and after handling food.
- Keep the kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.
- Always serve food on clean plates.
- Cook Thoroughly
- Fresh and frozen raw meat, poultry and fish should be cooked hot enough to kill the bacteria, parasites and viruses that may be in the product. The temperatures shown below are recommended for home preparation of food. Always use a meat thermometer to check temperatures.
- Keep Hot Foods HOT, Cold Foods COLD
- Divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Reheat hot foods to 165°F.
- Hot foods should be held at 140°F or warmer. On the buffet table, keep hot foods hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays.
- Cold foods should be held at 40°F or colder. Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice. Otherwise, use small serving trays and replace them with cold foods from the refrigerator when more food is needed.
- Observe the Two-Hour Rule
- Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Replace empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food in it.
- Cook Thoroughly
- Cook foods thoroughly to safe temperatures. Always use afood thermometer.
Preventing Tick-borne Disease
- Walk in the center of the trail to avoid picking up ticks from grass and brush.
- Use a good tick repellent:
- Products containing permethrin, which are used on clothing, are especially recommended for people who will be spending an extended period of time in possible tick habitat.
- Permethrin products are marketed under names like Permanone® and Duranon® and are available in stores that sell outdoor gear.
- Do not use permethrin on your skin.
- Standard DEET-based products are another option.
- Use a product containing no more than 30 percent DEET for adults.
- Concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are also safe for children (acording to reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics). Do not use DEET for infants under two months of age.
- Products containing DEET will also protect you from mosquito bites andmosquito-transmitted diseases.
- Follow the manufacturer's directions for all repellent applications.
- Wear clothes that will help shield you from ticks.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Tuck your pants into the top of your socks or boots to create a "tick barrier.”
- Wear light colored clothes to make it easier to spot ticks.
- Check frequently for ticks and remove them promptly.
Ticks must remain attached for one to two days before they can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.
Check the hairline and behind the ears and points of clothing constriction (e.g. behind knees, waist line, and arm pits).
If you live near the woods in an area with blacklegged ticks:
- Keep your lawn mowed short.
- Remove leaves and clear the brush around your house and at the edges of the yard.
- Keep children’s play-sets or swing-sets in a sunny and dry area of the yard.
- Make a landscape barrier (such as a three foot wide border of wood chips) between your lawn and the woods.
Prevention for pets
A vaccine to prevent Lyme disease is available for dogs. However, the vaccine will not stop your dog from bringing ticks into the home.
- Check your dog or cat for ticks before allowing them inside.
- Topical tick repellents are available for pets.
- Talk to your veterinarian about these options.
If you find a tick on yourself, remove the tick promptly.
- Prompt tick removal is important.
- If possible, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick by the head.
- Grasp the tick close to the skin
- Pull the tick outward slowly, gently, and steadily
- Do not squeeze the tick
- Use an antiseptic on the bite.
- Avoid folk remedies like Vaseline®, nail polish remover or burning matches - they are not a safe or effective way to remove ticks.
Tue, September 18, 2012
by Diane Wimmer