How to store your food safely during the hot weather

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The UK has seen very hot temperatures over the past week, with some days seeing over 30C temperatures.

With the hot weather comes a risk of food poising, as many of us will have BBQ’s or will head to parks or beaches to have picnics.

READ MORE: How hot will it get on Merseyside this week ?

How do I keep my food safe ?

  1. Clean up first – Rinse fresh fruits (including those with rinds) and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cool box.
  2. Keep cold food cold – place cold food in a cool box with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 5 °C or below to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Organise your cool box – pack drinks in one cool box and perishable foods in another. If using freezer packs (frozen drinks work well for this purpose), distribute them throughout the box – not all at the bottom!
  4. Keep your cool box closed – once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cool box is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold for longer.
  5. Pack away your picnic – once you’ve served it, dishes should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if it’s very hot outside. After this, the risk of bacteria increases and it becomes unsafe to eat, so best to throw it away when you get home. Pack away food so that your guests are not tempted to nibble later. To waste less, pre-plan portion sizes according to the size of your party and only pack what you need.

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