NH DHHS - Food Safety Tips for the Summer Season

Concord, NH – During this busy summer season of trips to the beach,

vacations, and cookouts, the Department of Health and Human

Services’ (DHHS) Food Protection Section wants to remind everyone to follow

some important food safety practices to avoid foodborne illnesses, such as

Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, and Campylobacter.

There are an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease, 325,000

hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths each year in the United States.

“Food is an important part of vacation and holiday gatherings but it needs

to be handled safely, especially during the warmer weather,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “The basic rule is keep hot

foods hot and cold foods cold. It sounds like common sense, but often we

get busy and forget or think someone else is taking care of something. It

is everyone’s responsibility to be food safe.”

A DHHS video on summer grilling food safety is available on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWDyMOUTrfM. There are some simple

precautions everyone should always take to reduce the possibility of

becoming sick when preparing food, which include:

Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods

(especially meat) and always wash them after use. Avoid cross

contamination. Wash any utensil after preparing one food item before

going on to the next item.

Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and

surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.

Cook: Make sure all meats are thoroughly cooked by using a meat

thermometer: turkey, stuffing, and casseroles to 165ºF; veal, beef,

and lamb roasts to 145ºF; and ham, pork, ground beef, and egg dishes

to 160ºF. When reheating, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to


Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. One hour if it

is a hot day over

90ºF. The refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the

freezer should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods hot, 140ºF or

hotter, and cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never defrost food at

room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a cold-water

bath, or in the microwave. When using a microwave, meat must be

cooked immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.

Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department of

Health and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls from

concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public

health official calls you to talk about an outbreak, your cooperation

is important, even if you are not ill.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture at

www.usda.gov or http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Education/Grill_It_Safe/index.asp,

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at www.cdc.gov , the

DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov , or www.befoodsafe.org