The incidence of food poisoning does increase during the summer month. So especially in the summer months extra precautions are necessary with food handling. The main reasons are both nature and man made.
First, there are the natural causes. Bacteria are present throughout the environment in soil, air, water, and in the bodies of people and animals.
These microorganisms grow faster in the warm summer months. Most foodborne bacteria grow fastest at temperatures from 90 to 110 °F. Bacteria also need moisture to flourish, and summer weather is often hot and humid.
Given the right circumstances, harmful bacteria can quickly multiply on food to large numbers. When this happens and you eat the food unwittingly you can get sick.
Second, there are the “people” causes for the upswing in summertime foodborne illnesses. Outside activities increase. More people are cooking outside at picnics, barbecues, and on camping trips.
Remember the safety controls that a kitchen provides such as thermostat-controlled cooking, refrigeration, and washing facilities are usually not available.
Fortunately, people seldom get sick from contaminated food because most people have a healthy immune system that protects them not only from harmful bacteria on food, but from other harmful organisms in the environment.
Food left out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours may not be safe to eat. If the temperature is above 90 °F then this window of safety reduces to an 1 hour. The best course of action for avoiding food poisoning is to play it safe by putting perishables back on ice before you start eating.
Don’t spoil your summer with food poisoning. Instead take precautions while enjoying your outdoor activities.