Summer Food Safety: Mayonnaise

During the latest "Ask the Editor" chat on Food Network's Facebook page, many readers inquired about mayonnaise in salads and how long they can be left out during summer months. With Fourth of July celebrations upon us, it's important to practice food safety --you don't want your guests missing the fireworks because they're not feeling well. Even if you place Grandma's famous potato salad in the shade, it has a timely expiration.

So how long is too long?

The FDA says, "Stick to the 'two-hour rule' for leaving items needing refrigeration out at room temperature. Never allow meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or produce or other foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours."

The outside temperature also makes a difference. The FDA adds, "If the air temperature is above 90 degrees F, the 'two-hour rule' becomes 'one-hour.'"

Finally, if you're entertaining, make sure you have additional coolers with ice available. If you crowd the refrigerator or freezer with food, the air won't circulate and your food won't be cooled to the proper temperatures.

If you want to skip the hassle of mayo-laden salads or just want to lighten up your fare, try these mayo-free options:

Photo: Jupiterimages
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