Keeping Food Safe During Cookout Season

Summer is the ideal time to enjoy cookouts and backyard feasts. Unfortunately, hot weather combined with eating outdoors can be a breeding ground for food-borne illness. Every year, an estimated 76 million cases of food-borne illness and 5,000 associated deaths occur in the United States.

It's easy to avoid food poisoning if you take some simple precautions. Here are some ways to keep yourself safe:

• Avoid cross-contamination. Do not let food not yet cooked come into contact with anything ready to be eaten.

• When shopping, buy meat and poultry products last, and unpack them first at home.

• Cook food thoroughly, especially poultry. Even rare meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 140ºF.

• Cranberries may be a natural and delicious way to make that summer barbeque a safer one. New research finds cranberries may offer a unique line of defense against food poisoning with their unique ability to reduce the growth of Salmonella and E. coli and other types of bacteria found in food. Incorporating cranberry into food preparation, one day, may be a natural way to minimize food contamination.


1/2 cup Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

20 chicken drummettes, about 2 pounds

Combine all ingredients, except drummettes, in large resealable plastic bag; mix well. Add drummettes. Seal; turn bag to coat chicken. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 400º F. Pour chicken and marinade in ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake 40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink near bone, turning 2 or 3 times and brushing with marinade. Transfer chicken pieces to serving dish; discard any remaining marinade.

Since cranberries are also antioxidants, they provide a dual anti-adhesion and antioxidant health benefit. With more PACs and antioxidants per gram than most fruit, cranberries ward off certain bacteria and bolster the body's defenses against free radical damage that can contribute to many chronic diseases including heart disease.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
To find more cranberry recipes, visit Cranberry concentrate can add longevity as well as nutrition and flavor to your food.