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Food safety: How to keep your food free from germs and out of the danger zone

MILWAUKEE -- It may sound like a guest at your family picnic -- but it's not! It's an acronym to help you remember the basic elements of food safety. Food science expert Christina Ward joins Real Milwaukee to tell us all about "Fat Tom."

The basic elements of food safety.
F- Food
A- Acidity
T- Temperature
T- Time
O- Oxygen
M- Moisture

Think about controlling each of these variables will ensure that your food is free from germs and `Sam and Ella` (Salmonella) don`t crash your party.

What are the conditions that allow for bacterial growth?

  • FOOD- That we need!
  • Acidity - A pH above 4.5
  • Temperature- Temps between 41 to 130 degrees
  • Time- Bacteria grow exponential by the minute!
  • Oxygen- Exposure to air fuels growth
  • Moisture- Foods containing water attract bacteria

Remember: A single bacterium can multiply to over 1,000,000,000 bacteria in 10 hours. Here are easy tricks to keep your foods safe this outdoor dining season.