Practice food safety on the parade route

Tobie Blanchard  |  1/18/2018 7:15:04 PM

(01/18/18) BATON ROUGE, La. – While catching beads this Mardi Gras season, make sure you don’t contract foodborne illness.

Wenqing Xu, LSU AgCenter food safety specialist, said following food safety practices can help to ensure you have an enjoyable carnival season.

“With a few simple practices, you can enjoy the festivities while reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses,” Xu said.

The four food safety principles include separate, clean, cook and chill, she said.

— Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods to prevent cross-contamination.

— Clean contact surfaces, utensils and especially your hands.

— Cook poultry and seafood to a safe temperature. Make sure to use a food thermometer.

— Chill any leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours.

Xu said to be cautious when cooking for large groups.

“If you have a cookout, make sure you have enough ice to keep the food chilled, and make sure you wash hands thoroughly before handling foods,” Xu said. “Transferring food in a clean container and preventing cross-contamination are critical.”

Xu also recommended bringing thermal packs or ice packs to keep foods at the proper temperature while on the parade route.

Having access to soap and water is preferable to keep hands clean while eating or handling food, but Xu said if that isn’t possible, at least bring hand sanitizer.

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