Ridgefield, New Jersey

photos of Ridgefield
Summer Food Safety


Celebrate the Summer Season Safely


Summer is a season filled with countless weekends enjoying the company of friends and family at barbeques and picnics. To protect yourself, your family, and friends from food-borne illness, practice safe food handling techniques when eating outdoors.

Unwashed hands, undercooked meats, cross-contamination from raw meats to other foods and eating unwashed fruits and vegetables can spread e.coli, salmonella and a host of other food-borne diseases. In the United States, foodborne infections cause approximately 76 million illnesses each year, accounting for 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths.

What many people call "stomach flu" or "intestinal virus" is often food poisoning, resulting in symptoms from mild nausea to a serious condition requiring medical treatment and hospitalization. Especially at risk are young children, the elderly, and people that are immuno-compromised.
Keep these tips in mind when preparing, storing, and cooking food for picnics and barbecues.

•    Always wash hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

•    Keep hot foods hot (135˚F ) and cold foods cold (41˚F).  

•    Never leave perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. When outdoor temperatures reach 90˚F, food shouldn't be left out for more than an hour.

•    Use clean dishes and utensils to serve food. Each dish should have its own, clean serving utensil.

•    Use a meat thermometer to ensure foods reach safe internal temperatures. Cooking by checking the color of the meat is not enough.

•    Serve grilled food on a clean plate - not the same one that held raw meat, poultry or fish.

•    Foods like chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can be placed directly on ice, or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain off water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.

•    Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

•    If you partially cook food in the microwave oven or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.

•    Grilled food can be kept hot until served by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals where it can overcook.

•    Carry picnic food in a cooler with a cold pack. Keep the cooler in the shade with the lid on or in the passenger compartment of your car rather than in a hot trunk.

Home | About Us | Legal Notices | Boards & Committees | Borough Code | Borough Directory | Mayor and Council | Public Safety | Departments | Forms & Applications | Tenant Advocate | Material Safety Data Sheets | Outdoor Alerting System Status | Information Notification System | Website Map | Save the Date | Agendas & Minutes | Service Request | E-Mail Updates | Helpful Links
Government Websites by Catalis
Printer-friendly Version