WOW! Summer has finally come and it is hot. Time to have BBQ’s, swim parties, beach parties and all sorts of parties. Because of the outside parties that will be given this summer, we need to take into consideration foodborne illnesses that will be lurking around and trying to get people sick, especially children and the elderly. Remember that bacteria grows faster in foods that are at a warmer than usual temperature when outside.
Listeria monocytogenes is a very dangerous bacteria that grows year round especially during the summer months. This bacteria grows at refrigerator temperature and is very deadly for pregnant mothers, unborn babies and newborns. In fact, they are 10 times more likely to become infected with the bacteria.
Listeria is found in foods such as:
· Cheeses that are soft and ripened (examples: Mexican-style, Brie, Feta and Ricotta)
· Vegetables that are raw
· Pre-bagged salads with ham chicken, tuna and seafood
· Meats from the deli
· Hot dogs
Hot dogs are a favorite at every BBQ party, however, that is why it is extremely important to make sure that:
· Hot dogs are never eaten straight from the package but heated to 165 degrees F
· Hands are washed before and after handling the pack of hot dogs
· Drain hot dog juices in sink so that it does not get on other foods or eating utensils
· Keep grilled hot dogs temperature at 140 degrees F or above until eaten
· Leftovers should be refrigerated or placed on ice at least two hours after removed from grill or one hour if temperature is 90 degrees F. When reheating hot dogs, always heat to 165 degrees F or above
· Leftover should be eaten within four days, after four days throw away
Following these instructions will keep these dangerous and deadly bacteria from crashing your party and making people sick.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture