In the summertime, as the weather begins to heat up, our microscopic friends, called bacteria, begin to make uninvited appearances at our cookouts, picnics and even camping trips. Sometimes these little friends can be helpful, but other times, they just make you sick.
Bacteria will grow anywhere they have access to nutrients and water. Microorganisms that cause disease are called pathogens. When certain pathogens enter the food supply, they can cause foodborne illness.
Under the right temperatures, between 40 and 140°F, bacteria reproduce rapidly. In some cases, they can double their numbers within 20 minutes. The warm temperature, along with the moisture needed for bacteria to flourish, makes the summer weather the perfect atmosphere for bacteria.
That perfect weather, combined with an increase in outdoor activities, and food being prepared in outdoor areas that may lack the safety controls of a home kitchen, could be a recipe for disaster – leading family and friends to get sick.
So play it safe and follow the following food safety recommendations: