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Keep food safe

Just a quick visit and reminder, what with the Fourth of July looming, to keep everyone safe from food related distress over the holiday weekend.

We're reminding you early so you can pick up a few extra coolers, foam will do, and they're cheap. Ice is cheap. Both together multiplied a half dozen times over are cheaper than a visit to the emergency room.

Here's the rule. You know it well, repeat it or take lines -- 100 times -- keep hot food hot, keep cold food cold. The "danger zone" is between 140 and 40 degree Fahrenheit.

How will you know the temperature? Another cheap item; a refrigerator thermometer and/or an oven thermometer. The former for the cooler(s), the latter for the grill.

And never leave food off ice for longer than two hours. Yes, we know, you've done it before to no ill effect. You've been extremely lucky.

And tomorrow or Thursday we'll try to come up with something unexpected for your picnic basket.

Illustration by Kurt Strazdins/MCT