Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips

This Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips post was made possible through the support of Element Associates. All opinions are my own.

Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips Summer is here!! And for most of us that means grilling, picnics, and backyard BBQ’s with friends. Did you know that more people experience and suffer from food poisoning during the summer months more then any other time of the year?? As someone who has had food poisoning before I truly don’t recommend it. It will surely ruin your day and a few of the days after that. In order to prevent you and your family from getting food poisoning this summer, I have teamed up with the USDA to give you my Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips.

Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips

Top 5 Summer Food Safety Tips List

Keep Hot Foods HOT and Cold Foods COLD!!

1. Keep cold foods chilled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and hot foods heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above.  Bacteria can grow rapidly between 40 to 140 °F! Be aware of the temperature of the food at all times.

Remember the 2 Hour Rule!!

2. Food should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. If bringing hot take-out food (like chicken fingers, wings etc.), eat it within 2 hours of purchase (1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F).

Keep ALL RAW Meat Wrapped Separately!!

3. Be sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely to prevent their juices from cross-contaminating ready-to-eat food. If possible, store these foods near the bottom of the cooler, so that juices don’t contaminate other foods in the cooler.

Always Use A Meat Thermometer!!

4. Meat and poultry should be cooked to a safe temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Color of meat and poultry is not a good indicator of safety. According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature.  Use a food thermometer to make sure meats have reached a safe minimum internal temperature. Cook hamburger to at least 160°F and cook chicken and turkey to 180°F. Using a Meat Thermometer will save you from wondering “Is It Done Yet?”

Chill Leftovers As Soon As Possible & Reheat Them to At Least 165 Degrees!!

5. Cool leftovers as soon as possible and reheat them to 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. This temperature will ensure that if it did sit out a little too long that any bacteria is killed. 

For more food safety and summer party ideas check out the video below from Martie Duncan of Food Network Star Season 8.

Visit to learn about best food safety practices, utilize “Ask Karen,” an online database with nearly 1,500 answers to specific questions related to preventing foodborne illnesses, in both English and Spanish, or to call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.

Join me for a Summer Food Safety Twitter Party on June 30th at 1 PM EST using hashtag #FoodSafe4th

Hosts include: @martieparty @buzzmommy @usdafoodsafety


  1. Great tips! Perfect for the holiday season and BBQ parties coming up! 🙂

  2. We went to a potluck picnic a couple of weeks ago and all got food poisoning. It was awful! I’m all about these food safety tips after that experience.

    • Oh no Daisy!! I hope everyone is feeling much better now. Food poisoning is bad enough when you have it by yourself but when the whole family gets it..I can’t even imagine.

  3. Great tips! We spend a lot of time picnicking and bbq’ing this time of year so I need to keep these in mind.

  4. These are GREAT GREAT tips! You actually reminded me about the temps – thank you!

  5. This post is great and so timely considering that the 4th of July is right around the corner and these are great reminders to keep from getting more than a suntan at family picnics and cookouts!

  6. Great tips. Especially with all of the BBQs this time of year.

  7. These are great tips! It’s important to be able to enjoy summer get-togethers without having to worry about food safety.

  8. Great tips! I always worry about foods sitting out at picnics, etc and worry that I’ll end up sick.

  9. I’ve never heard the 2 hour rule, but I LIKE it! I’ll definitely be implementing that one!

  10. Fantastic tips! Thanks!

  11. I’m so paranoid about the 2 hour thing. I pretty much won’t eat it if it’s been sitting out more than one!

  12. We NEVER think about this! Sometimes, my daughter will leave her leftovers from a restaurant out overnight in the box and eat it the next morning! She really needs to stop doing that!

  13. These are some valuable tips. Ones worth paying attention to for sure.

  14. Great tips especially because I’ve got some BBQs coming up.

  15. I am always super careful to put food away as soon as possible when we eat outdoors. My family never seems concerned about it though. They will leave things out for hours and still eat it!

  16. I guess from working in restaurants for so many years these just seem standard to me, but my husband drives me nuts… he eats things he leaves out for long streches of time frquently.

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