Dietitians give tips on food safety when eating outdoors

    Kick off barbecue season by keeping your family safe

    OTTAWA, May 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Food safety has been in the news a lot this
year, and as barbecue and picnic season is upon us, there is important
information on food safety especially when eating outdoors.
    Maple Leaf has assembled a network of dietitians to advise and
communicate with consumers about food safety. The network is focused on
helping consumers be confident in the choices they make so they can enjoy the
foods they love, both indoors and outdoors.
    Safe food handling is important at all times and that doesn't change when
eating outdoors. We all know the importance of keeping hot foods hot and cold
foods cold and this becomes a bigger challenge in summer temperatures. For
this reason, people must take extra care when preparing and storing foods for
outdoor eating.
    Keeping food at proper temperatures is important in preventing the growth
of foodborne pathogens. Always store raw foods - meats, salads and other
products - in the fridge until you are ready to cook or eat. For picnics, and
packed lunches, control the temperature by using ice packs and coolers for
cold perishable foods, and insulated containers for warm foods. When serving
food, be sure to position the dishes out of the sun, in a shady spot.
    When grilling, ensure that foods such as burgers made from ground meat,
chicken, and hot dogs, are cooked thoroughly by using a meat thermometer to
monitor the internal cooking temperature -74 degrees C or 165 degrees F for
chicken, ground chicken and hot dogs and 71 degrees C or 160 degrees F for
ground beef, veal and pork. Use separate plates and utensils to transport raw
and cooked foods to and from the barbecue.
    Try to limit handling food outdoors by cutting and preparing food inside
before cooking and eating outdoors. And, amidst the fun of outdoor activities,
remember to wash your hands before preparing food and eating.
    While you're having fun outdoors with family and friends this summer,
remember these easy steps to keeping your food safe. Incorporating these
important tips into your day-to-day activities will help you safely enjoy
outdoor eating this summer.

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule interviews with regional members
of the dietitian network, contact: Janessa Bishop, Fleishman-Hillard Canada,
(613) 688-7796,; Danica Wolfe, Fleishman-Hillard
Canada, (604) 688-2505,; Jacque Benson,
Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (403) 266-4710 ext. 227,

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