Food Safety Tips to Keep you Safe this Summer


7 June 2019

Access to safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.  But food also has a critical place in our social life including: cultural celebrations, gatherings with friends and family business meetings, and celebrating important milestones in life. That’s why, on World Food Safety Day 2019, we are giving you food safety tips to stay safe this summer.

What is World Food Safety Day?

On December 20, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that starting in 2019, every June 7 will be a time to celebrate the many benefits of safe food, as “food safety is everyone’s business.” 

This June 7, 2019 the world is celebrating its first ever World Food Safety Day! World Food Safety Day will provide an opportunity to promote the importance of food safety at a global level. Its main aim is to encourage government authorities and industry to establish strong food safety systems, foster multi-sectoral collaboration and promote food safety from farm to fork.

What is Food Safety and Why is it Important?

Food safety is the science of handling, preparing and storing food to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Food contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals or other impurities can cause many illnesses.

At PHO, we are working to estimate the burden of disease from environmental hazards. Some of our recent work estimates that every year in Ontario, foodborne illnesses is responsible for: 

  • 70 deaths
  • 6,600 hospitalizations
  • 41,000 emergency department visits
  • 137,000 physician visits

Knowing how to protect yourself from foodborne illness is important to keep you safe and healthy.

Stay Safe this Summer: Food Safety Tips

  • If you’re taking hot or cold food for school or a gathering, keep hot foods hot (60° C or warmer) and cold foods cold (4° C or colder).  
  • For hot foods, use insulated thermal containers or wrap hot food in foil and cover with heavy towels. 
  • Cold foods can be kept in coolers containing ice or frozen gel packs. Use a thermometer to check your food is kept below 4° C. 
  • Don’t serve raw eggs or consume ingredients containing raw eggs. They may contain bacteria such as Salmonella or pathogenic (illness-causing) E. coli. 
  • If you’re making ice-cream or dessert this summer, consider using pasteurized eggs in recipes that don’t involve cooking the eggs.
  • Barbequing this summer? Here are a few tips to avoid getting sick:
    • Marinate and store raw meat at 4° C or lower.
    • Wash hands after handling raw meat.
    • Avoid cross-contamination of ready to eat foods with raw meat.
    • Use a clean plate when taking food off the grill.
    • Use a digital food thermometer to ensure you have cooked meat thoroughly. 
  • Home-canning? Use validated recipes and good food safety practices to control or eliminate the growth of microorganisms and produce a safe canned product. For more information see our Literature Review on Home Canning

More Food Safety Information

More food safety information and tips on food safety tips see: 

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Updated 7 June 2019