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Food Safety Tips for Your Next Northern VA Cookout

August! Tomorrow marks the first day of August, and it’s hard to believe the summer is flying by so quickly. Soon, your kids will be back in school, and your days will be filled with homework, and boxed lunches, and permission slips. Soon, but not yet.

You’re determined to enjoy these dog days of summer while they last.

You’re determined to throw at least one more cookout before summer’s end.

Boulevard Cafe Catering is determined to keep you food safe in northern VA.

From the Partnership for Food Safety, consider the following tips:

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Wash your hands (Have we gotten our point across yet?) before and after handling food, and ensure you do so properly. Using warm water and soap, lather and rinse for at least 20 seconds.

Follow the two-hour rule.

Perishable foods are a veritable breeding ground for bacteria, and this bacteria will compound and multiply rapidly if its left to sit out for too long. No food (but especially not raw meat) should remain unrefrigerated for longer than two hours. Note: On a day hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, this two-hour rule shrinks to one hour.

Ice ice, baby.

A traditional refrigerator is even better, but if you’re hosting a picnic at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, or elsewhere where you may not have access to such, invest in more ice than you think you’ll need. Ice will keep cold drinks cold, and your food safe to eat.

Don’t transport coolers filled with food in the trunk.

The food will be far more safe in the temperature-controlled cab of your car than it will in the hot trunk.

Store foods separately.

Raw meat and poultry should be kept away from, and in a separate storage container than cooked foods, fruits, and vegetables. That means: Don’t slice the watermelon on the same cutting board that just held pre-cooked burgers.

Invest in a food thermometer.

And use it.

The Partnership for Food Safety recommends cooking poultry, casserole, and any leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit; ground meats and egg dishes to 160 degrees Fahrenheit; fresh beef, pork, veal, lamb, ham, and fish to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

When hosting, and cooking for friends at a summer cookout, it’s always better to be [food] safe than sorry, or better yet:

Let Boulevard Café Catering do the cooking for your northern VA cookout.

Get in touch with us about catering your next summer get-together, and we’ll suggest delectable, inventive (and food safe!) menu items that include BBQ baby back ribs, Cajun fried chicken, cucumber and black bean salad, cole slaw, and more.

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