Health Watch — End of Summer: 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 the last days of summer. Labor Day may be the traditional end of the summer season, but according to the calendar, we’ve still got nearly a month of summer to go. If you’re celebrating Labor Day with a cookout, you’ll need to practice good food safety because food spoils faster in hot weather.

Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you need to keep raw meats cool before cooking and chill leftovers as soon as possible after you eat. Use separate coolers for raw and cooked foods or foods that will be served raw. Dairy products, cold cuts or raw meat shouldn’t stay out for more than an hour. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before eating, especially after handling raw meats. Be sure to cook meats thoroughly when grilling, and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


August 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.