Health Watch — Summer Kickoff: Spoiled Food

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’re talking about health issues related to hot, sunny summer weather. Summer is a great time for cooking out or having picnics, but it’s also a prime time for food spoilage. Warmer temperatures make food spoil faster and create an environment that encourages bacteria growth.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says when temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, foods such as dairy, cold cuts and raw meat shouldn’t be left out for more than an hour. If you’re cooking out, get the raw meat onto the grill as soon as possible after taking it out of the refrigerator. You should also wash your hands before eating, especially if you’ve handled raw meat. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer.


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May 2007

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