Keeping Your Picnic Food Safe To Eat

July 4 Celebration

How can you keep your July 4th special holiday desserts cool and bacteria free at your BBQ? This is an important question. The reason is that there are well over 6.5 million reported cases of food poisoning every year. Keep in mind that there are many cases that are never even reported. So that number is higher for the actual cases. Out of that number there are roughly 10,000 cases of food poisoning that are fatal.

However, there are things you can do as the one bringing the food, which can help keep your family and guests safe. The best way to ruin a party is hand out the bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

There are three different types of microorganisms that can cause sickness from foods; they are yeasts, molds and bacteria. It is the bacteria that we will need to worry about the most. This is because bacteria can cause the problems in most of the foods we would make. This is also what would be in our desserts. So here are some key ways to keep your food safe, cool and bacteria free, as much as possible.

Staphylococcus, botulism and salmonella grow in temperatures between 50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that in order for your desserts to be safe from harmful bacteria, you need to keep your food either over 140 or under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is the rule of four hours for bacteria to grow. However, this includes preparation time, travel time etc. There really is not as much time as you think.

Here are ways that you can keep your desserts cool and safe for your BBQ.

1. When you are creating your deserts, cool them quickly. This will help keep the bacteria from growing during preparation.

2. Keep all desserts in the refrigerator or cooler until it is time to serve it up.

3. Keep the items separate for each recipe as long as you can. For instance, make the cake, but put fruit and toppings on when you serve the cake.

4. Chill the containers that your desserts will be served in.

5. Keep all deserts shaded when out on tables.

6. Clean and sanitize all work surfaces, dishes and tools often. This way there is less of a chance for bacteria to grow.
7. If the desserts have hot foods with them, make sure to keep them hot, right up till serving time. Hot chocolate sauce and other sauces like these etc.

8. Use double layered dishes, the bottom containing ice; this will keep the top dish cooler. It is also good to stir the desserts to keep them cool if possible.

9. Try to make smaller dishes which can be chilled faster and easier. This way, part of the dessert is not more susceptible to bacteria than others.

10. Be sure to put away the items you are purchasing for your dessert in the refrigerator or freezer as quickly as possible.

Using these tips can help you keep your July 4th special holiday desserts cool and bacteria free for your BBQ. The biggest thing to remember is that there is a limited amount of time that your food can be free from harmful amounts of bacteria when it is not kept below 50 or over 140 degrees. So work fast, keep it cool and think smart when it comes to the food you serve.