Ohio Poultry Association shares summer food safety tips

The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is sharing food safety tips to help consumers avoid food-borne illness and stay safe when eating outdoors this summer.

“As consumers are planning outdoor picnics, cookouts and other summer gatherings, it is important to remind them of outdoor food safety risks and provide helpful guidelines to keep them safe,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Through our efforts, we hope to bring awareness to proper food handling practices to reduce the risk of food-borne illness for Ohioans.”

Ohioans can stay safe this summer by following these tips:

· Bacteria can multiply in temperatures from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to serve cold foods below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and hot foods above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

· Pack moist towelettes or soap and water to clean hands and surfaces.

· Transport coolers in the backseat of an air-conditioned car rather than placing in a warm trunk.

· When the day is over, take the time to thoroughly clean used coolers. This will prevent bacterial growth and contamination on the next outing.

As the voice for Ohio’s egg farmers, OPA is also sharing egg-specific safety tips, including the following:

· Eggs should not be left out of the refrigerator or exposed at room temperature for more than two hours and should always be kept cold, either using ice or freezer packs.

· Egg dishes that are eaten cold should be packed in an insulated bag or cooler and kept in the shade and opened as infrequently as possible, ensuring foods are kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. When transporting deviled eggs, place the egg white halves and the yolk mixture in separate resealable plastic bags and pack in the cooler. Wait until just before serving to fill the egg halves

· Cooked egg dishes should be kept in thermal containers and kept at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

· If consumers are bringing hard-boiled eggs, they should be left in their shells and kept cold in a cooler. Hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat when left in their shells for up to one week, but once peeled, it must be eaten that day.

Ohio egg farmers are proud to provide healthy, safe, affordable eggs to Ohioans and nationwide.

As one of the largest egg farming states in the nation, Ohio produces more than 9 billion eggs annually.

For more information and nutritious egg recipes, please go online and visit www.ohioeggs.com.