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Time Out for Take Out

October 31, 2011

Take Out FoodDo you pick up “take-out food” from your favorite deli or restaurant for tailgating at a football game, a quick meal for your family, or weekend entertaining? Make certain you keep the food safe. Take-out foods are perishable and can cause illness if handled improperly. Restaurants and supermarket delis follow important sanitation rules during the preparation of food. Once the food is purchased, the responsibility for keeping it safe is yours.

Here are some simple rules to follow:

  1. Eat the food almost immediately to ensure maximum quality and safety. Hot foods should be HOT (140° F) and cold foods COLD (below 40° F).
  2. Refrigerate the foods promptly. If you plan to eat the food later, refrigerate it and then reheat just before serving. To cool quickly, divide large quantities into shallow containers, cover loosely, and refrigerate immediately. Always reheat cooked food or leftovers until they are hot and steaming (165° F).
  3. Remember, 4-Day Throw Away. The life of most deli meats and foods is short. Roast beef, chicken breast, and turkey have a shorter refrigerator life than processed meats or cold cuts. Remember to buy reasonable quantities and properly wrap and freeze deli meats that won’t be used within two to four days. http://www.4daythrowaway.org/

Remember most food poisoning bacteria cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. If in doubt, throw it out.

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