Mayo Safety - Eat Smart This Summer

ATLANTA (May 24, 2011) – When planning your summer picnic menu, don’t hold the mayo! Mayonnaise is one of the safest, health-friendly products you can bring to your next event.

More than 60 years of research has proven that commercially prepared mayonnaise does not cause foodborne illness. Commercial mayonnaise and mayonnaise-type dressings are prepared under strict quality control guidelines. They contain pasteurized eggs that are free ofSalmonella and other dangerous bacteria. Additional ingredients such as vinegar and lemon juice create a high-acid environment that slows or even stops bacterial growth. Commercial mayonnaise is perfectly stable when stored at room temperature; however, refrigeration ensures the mayonnaise maintains its fresh flavor for a longer period of time.

With so many varieties available, including light and fat free, mayonnaise can be part of a well-balanced diet, meeting anyone’s dietary needs. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends increased use of oils to replace solid fats, where possible. Mayonnaise is made with healthy oils such as soybean, canola and olive. In addition, commercial mayonnaise is free of trans fats.

To ensure your next event is a success, follow these tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Stay clean. Wash your hands before cooking, after touching raw meat, fish, or chicken; and after visiting the restroom. Most foodborne illnesses are related to improper hand washing. If facilities are unavailable, wet wipes or a hand sanitizer will reduce germs.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Transport cold foods in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Wrap hot food in towels, then newspaper, and place inside a box or heavy paper bag and use within one hour. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours when the temperature in the food serving area is below 90° F, and within one hour when the temperature is above 90° F.   

Avoid cross-contamination. Never cut vegetables or other foods on the same cutting board as poultry or meat without cleaning the knife and board first. Make sure all produce used as ingredients in salads and sandwich are fresh and properly washed.

The Association for Dressings & Sauces is a trade association representing salad dressing, mayonnaise, and condiment sauce manufacturers and suppliers. Visit www.dressings-sauces.org to learn more about the health and safety aspects of mayonnaise and to download a copy of the brochure, “Make Mine Mayonnaise!”