Kick-off your summer with safe food handling practices

As we head into the summer, now is a great time to evaluate your summer food safety practices.

The Memorial Holiday, kick-off to summer is just around the corner. With outdoor food events including picnic, BBQ’s, snacks at sporting events and numerous other summer outings, now is a great time to think about your summer food safety practices. Warmer temperatures provide the perfect environment for bacteria to rapidly multiply on food that is not properly handled and can lead to foodborne illness. Take steps now to make any necessary improvements and keep foodborne illness from ruining your summer events.

Michigan State University Extension recommends using these four principles for proper food handling to help guide you: Clean, separate, cook and chill. Each area has important tips to keep in mind for safe and fun summer food events.

Ground meat and meat mixtures

Beef, pork, veal, lamb

160 °F

Fresh cuts pork, beef, veal, lamb                   145 °F


Chicken & turkey, whole

165 °F

Duck & goose

165 °F

Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)

165 °F

Ham, cooked and fresh

Ham (raw) plus three minutes stand time

145 °F

Pre-cooked (to reheat)

140 °F

Seafood                                                               145 °F

Leftovers and casseroles

165 °F

Following these simple principles will help you enjoy a safe summer filled with delicious food events and fun outings with family and friends.