El Paso Functional Medicine
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6 Tips for Picnic Food Safety


As we move into summer many of us will be heading outdoors to make the most of the longer, sunnier days. However, we’re not the only ones who like warm weather, and for those who might be planning a picnic the higher temperatures can provide the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. To ensure your outdoor event is memorable for all the right reasons, here we’ve put together some tops tips for food safety when dining al fresco.

Marinate safely

Marinate foods in the refrigerator before you leave for your picnic — never on the way or outdoors. In addition, if you plan to use some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood — do not reuse marinade.

Keep cold food cold

When transporting your food from home to your destination, keep cold food stored at 40 °F / 4.5 °C and below to prevent bacterial growth. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs, and remember that cold meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.

Keep things clean

Wash all your produce before you leave, and once at the picnic site clean your table, any barbecue equipment, and utensils before and during food preparation. If you have access to running water, use a water jug, some soap, and paper towels, or use moist disposable towelettes for cleaning your hands.

Cook food thoroughly

If barbecuing, cook food thoroughly to kill germs that cause food poisoning, and serve food while it is hot. Never let your picnic food remain in the “Danger Zone” — between 40 °F / 4.5 °C and 140 °F / 60 °C — for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90 °F / 32 °C. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly, and lead to illness.

Prevent “cross-contamination”

Don’t reuse plates or utensils when serving food, as serving cooked food on plates that have held raw meat, poultry, or seafood will allow bacteria to spread. Instead, make sure you have packed enough plates and utensils or wash what you need in hot, soapy water before using.

Take care with leftovers

If you have leftover cooked food refrigerate it within two hours. Once home reheat leftover food thoroughly to above 167 °F / 75 °C before eating.

For more information on how to stay safe and healthy this summer head to the websites of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and FDA.gov.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "6 Tips for Picnic Food Safety" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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