Speaking of Food Safety | Summer 2017

Think You’re Savvy on Summer Food Safety? Take Our Quiz + See If You’re Up to Snuff!

Ahhhhh, summer …

Along with the warmer weather of summer we love to enjoy comes something not so enjoyable: More risk for foodborne illness.

That’s why it’s even more important to be super diligent about practicing good food safety habits in the summer. To give you a boost in this department, Stop Foodborne Illness invites you to take the quick quiz below with our top summer food safety questions.

Please dedicate a few minutes of your time right now if you can.

Taking this quiz will help keep you, your family, and others safe as you host backyard parties or make your way around to picnics and barbeques. When you’re done, send an email to Stanley Rutledge, Community Coordinator, at we’ll announce our winner on September 1, 2017.

QUESTION 1: Why do foodborne illnesses increase during summer months?

  1. Because bacteria that causes foodborne disease grows faster in hot, humid temperatures and, in these conditions, they can multiply quickly on food.
  2. Because people are cooking and eating food outdoors a lot more, which means a higher likelihood of not keeping food at safe temps, people not washing their hands properly (or at all), and, because people are mobile, a general lack of following other food safety basics.
  3. Both A and B.


QUESTION 2: You’re grilling up hamburgers on the grill. What is the only way you can tell if they’re cooked to a safe temperature?

  1. They’re brown throughout with no pink.
  2. You insert a food thermometer in the middle of the patties and they’re at a minimum temp of 160 °
  3. They’ve been cooked for 10 minutes.


QUESTION 3: You were at a picnic on a hot day (above 90°F) and kept some food in a cooler with ice for about five hours. The cooler was in a sunny spot on a picnic table. Is that food safe to take home and eat as leftovers?

  1. No
  2. Yes
  3. Maybe, it depends on how much ice was in the cooler.


QUESTION 4: You’re going to be at a campground doing a lot of grilling outdoors without easy access to facilities for hand washing. Is using hand sanitizer the next best thing?

  1. Yes
  2. No


QUESTION 5: If you’re eating outside and the temp is 90°F or higher, how long can you safely leave food out before refrigerating it?

  1. 1 hour
  2. 30 minutes
  3. 2 hours


Thanks so much for taking our quiz!

How did you do?

Don’t forget to email Stanley Rutledge, Community Coordinator, at srutledge@stopfoodborneillness.org to let him know your score. He’ll enter you in our drawing to win a food thermometer and $25 Amazon gift card. Good luck!






#1: C. Both A and B contribute in a big way toward an increase in foodborne illness in the summer. Click here to learn more about this topic.






#2: You knew it! We were pretty sure you already knew you should always use a food thermometer to make sure your burgers are safe to eat.
Or … Tried to guess it? Not using a food thermometer yet? Check out our safe food temperatures chart here and learn more about food thermometers here.






#3: Even with a lot of ice, five hours is just too long to have kept that food out on a hot, sunny day. The cooler likely was opened and closed a lot, so the ice probably melted quite a bit. Err on the safe side and throw out that food. And, in case you’re wondering, we recommend tossing ALL perishable picnic food every time after you’re done. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to risking foodborne illness.



#4:Yes. Although nothing is better than proper hand washing when handling foods, the Centers for Disease Control recommends you use 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer as the next best thing. Keep plenty of it with you and be sure to use it often to help keep your hands bacteria-free.


#5: The two-hour rule for leaving food out at room temperature changes to a one-hour rule when the temp is 90°F or higher.

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