foodborne illness

Why Do Foodborne Illnesses Peak Over Summer?

Foodborne illness rates climb dramatically over the summer months, but many people are unaware of the underlying cause. Food poisoning is generally more uncomfortable than dangerous, but it can lead to serious illnesses and complications. Understanding how foodborne illnesses are spread can help you prevent food poisoning.

How Does Summer Affect Food Safety?

Summer often means that more people are spending time outside and getting together. Food is often a key feature of these activities, but unsafe food handling can allow bacteria to spread and cause illness. Warmer temperatures outside can expose foods to unsafe temperatures during transportation and while it’s being served. At potlucks or other events where food is shared, dishes can be left out for hours, and you may not be able to tell if the food was prepared safely.

Food should be stored at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or at temperatures greater than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Any food between these temperatures can risk bacteria growth. Leaving potato salad on a picnic table during a party can easily cause the food to become compromised. If you have perishable food, it should be discarded after 2 hours of sitting out. Chill all leftovers or cooked food within 90 minutes of making it.

When preparing food, it’s also important to wash your hands, work surfaces, utensils, and produce. Keep food separate when preparing it, and use different cutting boards for:

  • Produce
  • Dairy
  • Cooked meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Raw meat, poultry, or seafood

All food should be cooked to the appropriate internal temperature. The lowest temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is appropriate for whole cuts of beef and pork. At a BBQ, it is possible that the meat isn’t appropriately cooked and may not reach the safe internal temperature. When cooking meat over a grill, keep a food thermometer handy to check the temperature of the food.

At Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation, we are dedicated to helping injured clients protect their rights and receive the compensation they deserve. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can help you determine if you can sue after getting food poisoning. Learn how we can help you with a free case evaluation.

Contact our legal team today by calling (866) 884-1717.