Food Danger Zone

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Did you know that leaving food out in the sun for too long can increase bacteria growth?


Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor meals with friends and family. Because warmer temperatures can spoil food easily, it is important to be careful about the ways we handle food. Bacteria grows rapidly in the temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. This is called the danger zone. This is the danger zone because bacteria can double in numbers quickly between these temperatures. So it is important to not leave food out too long during a cook out or picnic. It is advised to not leave food out for more than 2 hours. It is also advised to not leave food out for more than 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.


A great way to be safe when handling food is by limiting our exposure to too much bacteria so that we won’t get sick. We can start by washing our hands and all utensils before cooking food to prevent bacteria from spreading. We can also wash fruit and veggies before cutting in case bacteria is present beforehand. We can also cook food the same day as the picnic, not in advance, to give bacteria less time to grow.