Health Watch — Keeping Cool: Food Safety

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about keeping yourself cool during the hot summer months. Drinking plenty of fluids is the main thing you need to do when you’re getting hot and sweaty. But you’re not the only thing that needs to be kept cool.

Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you need to keep raw meats, cold cuts and dairy products cool, as well, especially when you’re cooking or eating outdoors. In hot weather, bacteria can grow rapidly in these foods, and that can lead to food poisoning. When cooking out, keep raw meats cold until it’s time to grill them, and then chill leftovers quickly. Pack plenty of ice in coolers for transporting raw foods and leftovers to and from the cookout site. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after handling raw meats, especially before you eat or handle other foods.


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July 2007

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