Wind Crest Offers Food Safety Tips for Cookouts

HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (August 1, 2013) -- It's that time of the year for cookouts and picnics. Here are a few food safety tips courtesy Wind Crest retirement community's Dining Service Department:  Come clean. If your picnic spot doesn't have clean running water, bring some with you. Bring wipes or sanitizing gel for surfaces and hands. Wash hands before food prep and after handling raw meats.   Keep your cool. Use an insulated cooler with ice, ice packs or partially frozen items to keep food at 40 F (4 C) or cooler.   Pack smart. Keep separate coolers for food and beverages. Chances are people will be in and out of the beverage cooler, which lets cold air escape. To keep food as cold as possible, keep that cooler closed until you're ready to cook. Pack meat in plastic and put it on the bottom of the cooler to prevent it from leaking on other foods. Pack two platters --- one for raw meat and one for cooked meat.  Use a thermometer. Don't rely on the color of meat to judge when it's cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Safe minimum temperatures are: 165 F (74 C) for any type of poultry, 160 F (71 C) for ground meat other than poultry and 145 F (63 C) for solid cuts, such as steaks, of meat or fish Have a great summer.