Melons signal warmth and fun. Once they appear in the produce aisle, you know those hot months—and all the season’s healthy fruit and veggies—are there for the taking. But, your happy-go-lucky summer fun could be stopped in its tracks if you don’t educated yourself on how to properly handle those delicious watery slices.
Like many other fruits and vegetables, melons can carry bacteria like E.coli, listeria, and salmonella. According to Michigan State University, these germs usually gather on the rind of the melon (which protects the inside from contamination). However, if you don’t wash your watermelons before use, those nasty germs might end up on the flesh of the melon when you slice it up. Make sure to wash the rinds before cutting to avoid foodborne illnesses. If you thought washing your melons would prevent all bacteria, think again! Keeping melon slices in the sweltering sun can cause the growth of germs and bacteria. According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, always use a cooler or ice if transporting melons and sliced melon outside. Try packing your sliced melon alongside these frozen desserts to keep your fruit extra cold and sweet at the BBQ.
So don’t put that watermelon from the BBQ back in the fridge. Even melon slices that have been sitting indoors in room temperature for two hours run the risk of culturing nasty bacteria. Compost or dispose of that extra summer fruit.
Fresh fish plus heat is the perfect combination for bacteria growth. It is like a sign welcoming those pesty buggers into that freshly packed fish. Children and the elderly, who have weakened immune systems, have to be even more careful around picnic food involving fish. To be safe, pack your filet of choice in a cold bag and make sure to prepare and eat it as soon as possible. Want to make the best choice when buying for your cookout? Here’s a guide to buying and eating fish.