Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties

Main Office (Kane County)
535 South Randall Road
St. Charles, IL 60174-1591
Phone: 630-584-6166
FAX: 630-584-4610
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Master Gardener: M-F 10 am to 2 pm

Branch Office (DuPage County)
1100 E. Warrenville Road
Suite 170
Naperville, IL 60563
Phone: 630-955-1123
FAX: 630-955-1180
Hours: M 11am - 7pm; Tu-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm Master Gardener: Tu-W-Thu 9 am to 12 pm

Branch Office (Kendall County)
7775-B Illinois Route 47
Yorkville, IL 60560
Phone: 630-553-5823
FAX: 630-553-5871
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Master Gardener: M-F 9 am to 12:30 pm

News Release

As the Weather Warms Up, Keep Cool for Food Safety

U of I Extension Educator Offers Seasonal Nutrition and Food Safety Tips

ST. CHARLES, Ill. – The closer summer gets, the more often we eat outside – on a picnic, at a graduation party or around the grill.

“Whether you are picnicking in the park or heading out to a backyard event, summer is a time to savor the seasonal flavors, and time with family and friends,” said Laura Barr, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, University of Illinois Extension. “It also is important to remember proper temperatures for food so that everyone continues to enjoy the weather and time together.”

No matter the menu, there are some easy guidelines to keep top of mind, said Barr.

“It is critical to keep some foods cool before and after the serving time,” she said, explaining that potentially hazardous foods include raw or cooked meats; cheeses, yogurt and other dairy products; cooked grains, beans, and vegetables; and cut fruit and vegetables.

“Keep these things in a cooler or refrigerated, and some dishes should be served on ice, such as shrimp cocktail,” Barr said. “If a potentially hazardous food sits out for two hours, it is best to toss it. As the saying goes, ‘When in doubt, throw it out.’”

The fastest bacterial growth occurs between 70 degrees and 125 degrees, which means both room temperature spreads and outdoor meals present potential risks. As bacteria multiply, so does the risk of food-borne illness, said Barr.

“With a few simple steps, everyone can enjoy the food of the season safely, and continue to celebrate the milestones and holidays of summer.”

University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs and research-based information to help Illinois residents improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems.  For more information on University of Illinois Extension programs in your county, visit


University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

University of Illinois/U.S. Dept. of Agriculture/Local Extension Councils Cooperating

Source: Laura Barr, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness,