It’s Hot! Keep Your Food Safe!

By Diane Ruyack

Hot! Hot! Labor Day is not too far away. Hopefully it will be a little cooler but if not, planning for summer’s last hurrah is important.  Keep it simple, keep it cool and fun. Microwave, grill outside or eat cold foods will help keep your kitchen from heating up.

If it is hot, watermelon and cucumbers have a high water content, 90% so these would be good choice for dessert and for dipping in cold yogurt dip.  Other fruits and vegetables are great additions to grilled burgers or lunch meat hoagies. For a quick salad, use bagged coleslaw mix (cabbage, carrots) which is naturally nutrient-rich. Keep it healthful w/ low-fat/light coleslaw dressing.

In extreme heat, it’s critical to drink fluids you LIKE, as you’ll consume 45% to 50% more then.  Men – you need MORE than 13 cups fluid. Women – MORE than 9 cups fluid in extreme heat. ALL Beverages Count!   Do include nutrient dense drinks such as smoothies and flavored milks.

It is very important to prepare for your Labor Day safely.  Here are some very special suggestions:

  • Always wash your hands with hot soapy water before handling food.
  • Have coolers with enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep perishable foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and salads below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before cooking.
  • Always keep the cooler in the shade with the lid closed.
  • Use a separate cooler for drinks.
  • Pack raw meats, such as poultry and fish at the bottom of the cooler to prevent them from dripping onto other foods and contaminating them.
  • Never partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
  • Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any bacteria.
  • Poultry should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, while beef and pork should reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep hot food hot at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and cold food cold at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

In weather above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, perishable foods should not sit out for more than one hour and all other foods should not be out for more than two hours. As soon as you finish eating, put food back into the fridge or cooler. Discard anything left out for more than two hours and remember, “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Ending a perfect day with a luscious dessert that is easy to make, consider the following recipe:

Chocolate Mudslide Frozen Pie

Prep:

20 mins

Cooking:

3 mins

Cooling:

360 mins

Yields:

8

Ingredients

Directions

MELT 1 cup morsels in small, heavy-duty saucepan over lowest possible heat. When morsels begin to melt, remove from heat; stir. Return to heat for a few seconds at a time, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes.

COMBINE coffee granules and water in medium bowl. Add sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth. Spread into crust; refrigerate.

BEAT cream, powdered sugar and cocoa in small mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe over chocolate layer. Sprinkle with mini morsels. Freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.

BEAT cream, powdered sugar and cocoa in small mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe over chocolate layer. Sprinkle with mini morsels. Freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.

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