Lemonade Stand Back in Business

Summer Holiday Food Hazard?

Summer holidays are here, bringing us a bounty of holiday foods, picnics, and recreation. Life is sweet. Or maybe too sweet, if you follow the headlines about how much sugar we’re eating. And you’ll definitely find a lot of it in the food at a typical picnic. But we’d like to suggest that the real holiday food hazard deserving a bit of your attention is not sugar. To the contrary, it’s the possibility of food poisoning.

Hot Weather, Better Conditions for Bacteria

About one in six Americans will suffer an incident of food poisoning this year. More than a hundred thousand will wind up in the hospital. Worst of all, roughly 3,000 will die. So yes, a bit of attention to food safety is well worth it.

Temperatures trending into the 90’s in many places will make this concern even more important. Ordinarily, you have a window of about two hours for bacteria to multiply and spoil your food. But at these higher temperatures, you’ll need to discard perishable food after it’s out for just an hour. Warm weather means that bacteria can flourish at your picnic.

Food Safety First

Yes, we know that public health folks want you to count up the sugar in all of the food that’s coming your way. That hot dog with everything on it delivers about 10 grams. Lemonade? Easily 25 grams. Apple pie will bring you 30 grams. More if you have a scoop of ice cream. It all adds up, and an excess of sugar over time really isn’t too good for your health.

However, long term health is moot if you neglect immediate concerns about food safety. So take a second to remind yourself about some basic principles to keep holiday food hazards out of your celebrations. You can read more here from Food Safety News.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Lemonade Stand Back in Business, photograph © Ted Kyle / flickr

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July 4, 2018