Health Watch — Going Outdoors: 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.

The weather is warmer, and now it’s time to head outdoors. This week on Health Watch, we’ll offer some tips for staying safe and healthy in the outdoors. Picnics are a fun way to enjoy a warm, sunny May day, but make sure you follow food safety procedures.

Lona Sandon, a nutrition expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says temperatures in the 80s and 90s mean foods such as dairy, cold cuts and raw meats shouldn’t be left out longer than an hour. Warm weather creates an environment in which the bacteria that cause food poisoning flourish. When grilling, cook raw meats as soon as possible after you remove them from the refrigerator or a cooler, and use a different cooler for raw meats than you use for cooked meats or food that will be eaten raw. Even when you’re eating outdoors, wash your hands before you eat, or use hand sanitizer.

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



May 2008

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