June 7 is World Food Safety Day, and as the temperatures rise and you start hosting outdoor picnics and barbecues, here are some tips to prevent foodborne illnesses that could ruin your fun in the sun.
Cook frozen foods before eating them, and this includes frozen fruit that you would put in a smoothie, said Sally Squires, who writes for the Lean Plate Club™ blog.
The Food and Drug Administration announced last month that it is going to study samplings of frozen berries for hepatitis A and norovirus.
It’s best to cook frozen fruit for at least 2 minutes in boiling water and then cool it, Squires said.
It’s called blanching, and it doesn’t affect the flavor. Bring a pot of water to boil, put the fruit in for about 2 minutes, take it out and run it under cold water or ice, and then freeze it again, Squires said.
Other ways to prevent foodborne illnesses is to use commercially prepared mayonnaise, which uses cooked eggs, in your chicken, egg and potato salads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that norovirus is one of the Top 5 germs in the U.S. that cause illness from food eaten. The others are Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus aureus.
Some 48 million people get sick annually in the U.S. from foodborne disease, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die, Squires said.
For more information on food safety, go to the CDC’s food safety page.