It’s an issue of food safety with warm weather, staying at home more and perhaps having more food delivery the issue of food safety is a real one. I personally have had to deal with this recently. My husband, for reasons of convenience and necessity, relies on Meals on Wheels. He receives these meals daily, they are pureed and in accordance with his renal dietary restrictions. Lately, the drivers have been leaving food on the porch rather than placing the food in the clearly marked and cooler on the steps. Their disregard for proper food handling, unfortunately, has caused my husband to become sick a couple of times..
If food sits outside in temperature above 75 degrees for 5-10 minutes it can seriously compromise the food quality and safety, especially during summer months. One Meals on Wheels driver refused to touch the cooler due to COVID. Absurd! I was livid and contacted their area president to voice my concerns. He assured me that everything in their power will be done to rectify this situation. including having drivers use gloves, sanitizers and disinfecting wipes – which naturally should have been part of their protocol in the first place.
Due to this personal experience I felt it would be a good topic for today’s article.
Now food safety may seem like a boring topic but if your food isn’t safe it can be dangerous and even deadly. To help make sure you don’t become I’d like to share a few tips with you.
Here are 5 Simple Tips to keep your food safe during this very unusual summer:
- Use coolers and ice – Make sure your cooler is big enough to store everything. Of course, there are fewer trips to the beach due to COVID, but even with back yard BBQ need be safe so store everything properly.
- Refrigerate immediately – don’t let food lie out on the counter if you plan to have extra food for left overs. Refrigerate right away – today’s fridges are able to handle extremes in temperature so don’t worry that the food is still hot.
- Use sanitizers, gloves and hand washing when handling food that was delivered to your door. Keep yourself safe when touching any packages, food or otherwise.
- If delivered food is in any way questionable discard immediately. Don’t take a chance by convincing yourself “well maybe its ok”. It’s bad for you and if you have a compromised individual at home it could be exponentially harmful to them and may even put them in the hospital – something you want to avoid completely during this pandemic
- Proteins are more of an issue – veggies and fruits, of course, are less susceptible to being problematic when left outside after all that’s where they came from. If you have a salad with some fish in it or egg salad, for example they can easily become tainted in the heat. When it comes to proteins meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc. Refrigerate 1st and quickly.
Please stay well this summer and keep your food safe, nutritious and refreshing.