Safety tips allow food to travel


POSTED: Wednesday, June 10, 2009

With school out and summer in full swing, it's barbecue and picnic season. It's also a good time to share proper food handling techniques from the state Department of Health. For questions, call the Honolulu sanitation branch at 586-8000.


Wash hands even in outdoor settings. If a sink with running water is unavailable, use a water jug, soap and paper towels, or use moist disposable towelettes or other hand sanitizers.


» Rinse all fresh produce, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten, under running tap water. Commercially packaged fruits and vegetables labeled “;ready-to-eat,”; “;washed”; or “;triple washed”; need not be washed before eating.

» Rub firm-skin produce or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.

» Keep cut cantaloupes and melons on ice, preferably below 45 degrees. Treat as a perishable food item.


» Marinate foods in the refrigerator. If marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion separately BEFORE adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Do not reuse marinade after it comes into contact with raw foods.

» Do not use the same platter and utensils that previously held raw meat or seafood to serve cooked meats and seafood.

» If partially cooking food in the microwave, oven, or stovetop to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.

» Cook food thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to check for an adequate internal temperature:

Beef, veal, and lamb steaks and roasts: 145 degrees for medium rare; 160 degrees, medium; and 170 degrees, well done.

Hot dogs and other sausages, and beef, hamburger and ground pork: 155 degrees

Poultry: 165 degrees

Shrimp, lobster and crab: Meat should be pearly and opaque.


» Keep cold foods below 45 degrees and hot foods above 140 degrees.

» Keep poke and other ready-to-eat raw items in containers that are buried in ice just below the rim of the container. Metal containers are much better than plastic for keeping foods cold.

» Keep macaroni/potato salads in shallow containers in ice.

» Hot food should be well-wrapped and placed in an insulated container. This includes rice.

» Ice used for cooling foods should not be consumed.

» Keep perishable food at room temperature no longer than two hours. Discard if left out longer.

» Food should not sit out more than an hour in temperatures above 90 degrees.


» Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen to keep colder longer. Keep raw items securely wrapped so juices don't contaminate cooked foods or foods eaten raw.

» Keep cooler in air-conditioned passenger compartment rather than hot trunk. Limit times cooler is opened.

Check out these recipes for your next summer cookout. Have a safe and healthy summer.

Layered California Sushi

4 cups rice
4 cups water
1/2 cup Japanese rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dashinomoto (Japanese soup stock seasoning)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 firm ripe avocados, sliced or diced
8 ounces imitation crab, shredded
1/4 cup furikake nori (Japanese seasoned seaweed mix)

Rinse rice, add water and cook in rice cooker.

Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, and dashinomoto. Bring to boil; cool.

Pour vinegar mixture over warm rice, mixing lightly.

Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with waxed paper. Spread half of rice mixture evenly in pan. Spread mayonnaise on rice. Top with avocado and crab. Cover with remaining rice mixture, place a sheet of waxed paper over rice and pack firmly.

When rice is cooled, invert pan onto a tray. Remove waxed paper and sprinkle with furikake nori. Cut into serving pieces. Serves 12.

Note: Keep chilled before, during and after serving.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 470 calories, 15 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,000 mg sodium, 72 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 14 g protein.

Halo Halo

1 firm-ripe papaya
1 firm-ripe cantaloupe
1 firm-ripe avocado
1 bottle (12 ounces) macapuno (grated coconut preserve)
1 bottle (12 ounces) kaong (sugar palm)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
Shaved or crushed ice

Using a spoon or macapuno scraper, scrape flesh from papaya, cantaloupe, and avocado.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, with ice added just before serving. Add ice cream or flan if desired. Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 360 calories, 22 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 9 g protein.

More recipes from Hawaiian Electric Co.'s database may be found at www.heco.com