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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Food Safety Tips for Your Summer Cookouts
July 2012

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Cookouts! Family reunions! Barbecues! Warm weather brings many opportunities to cook and eat outdoors.

Everyone should beware of foods that are likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses. If you have diabetes or have received a kidney transplant, some foods may be even more risky for you. If you get a foodborne illness, you are more likely to be sicker longer or require hospitalization.

Foods that are likely to cause foodborne illness fall into two categories:

Four Steps for Safely Handling Food

  1. Clean: wash hands and surfaces often
    • Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
    • Clean lids of canned goods before opening.
  2. Separate: don't cross-contaminate
    • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and in your refrigerator.
    • Don't reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you first bring them to a boil.
  3. Cook: Cook to safe temperatures
    • Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods.
    • Bring sauces, soups, and gravy to a boil when reheating and heat other leftovers to 165° F.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate promptly
    • Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within two hours of cooking or buying. Refrigerate within one hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90° F.
    • Never thaw food at room temperature! It's safe to thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.

Learn More
For more tips on handling food safely, visit: .

For more food safety information for people with diabetes, visit: pdf icon (1.4M).

If you would like more food safety information for transplant recipients, visit: pdf icon (1.4M).

If you are living with diabetes or high blood pressure, learn more about healthier eating at pdf icon (131K).

If you have kidney disease, visit pdf icon (162K) to learn more about eating right.

Order the New Kidney Sundays Toolkit!
The National Kidney Disease Education Program's Kidney Sundays Toolkit was recently redesigned. It's now available to order or download online. Check out the new videos and information included in the Toolkit. Visit to learn more.

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Page last updated: July 10, 2012