Food Safety Information
Food Safety Basics
Don’t Let Food Poisoning Make Your Thanksgiving A Turkey
Food safety isn’t on your holiday to-do list? Maybe it should be. Incorrectly prepared or improperly stored food can be dangerous and even life-threatening, especially for older adults, young children and pregnant women. Typical symptoms of food borne illness are stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and usually start a few days after the contaminated food is consumed. Don’t send your guests home with an unpleasant culinary surprise. Knox County Health Department would like to pass along these quick food safety tips from the Food and Drug Administration... more>>
Picnic Safety Tips
Enjoying a picnic outdoors is a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. To prevent a food borne illness, keep these food safety tips in mind.
- Wash your hands before handling food. Pack a bottle of hand sanitizer or antibacterial moist towelettes if the picnic site does not have hand washing facilities.
- Keep cold foods cold. Pack cold food products in coolers with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs to keep your food at 40 degrees or colder to prevent bacterial growth.
- Keep hot foods hot —140 degrees or hotter prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Wrap hot foods in towels, then newspapers, and place inside a box to transport to your picnic.
- Put all perishable food back in the cooler after eating. No more than two hour is normally the rule for leaving perishable food un-refrigerated. For picnics in hot weather, one hour without refrigeration is the maximum. The best rule to remember is: When in doubt, throw it out.
- Keep melons out of the “Danger Zone.” If not properly handled, melons (i.e. watermelon, cantaloupe) can cause food borne illness. Harmful bacterial are often present on the rind. Wash all melons thoroughly before cutting and refrigerate cut pieces promptly. Melons must be kept chilled after slicing.
Keep drinks in a separate cooler from cold food because it will be opened more often, increasing the chance of getting too warm to safely hold food.