Labor Day Weekend is coming up and there is no better way to savor the fleeting summer sunshine than with a delicious cookout. Whether you are hosting your own BBQ or bringing your signature dish to a friend’s house, it is important that you follow food safety guidelines. This is part 3 of a week-long series that will look at common food poisoning culprits, easy ways to avoid them, and tasty recipes that you can safely and confidently serve to your friends and family.

This recipe for a Summer Chopped Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressingis from Food Network.  It makes about 4 servings.

Food Safety Blog Post 3


  • 8 ounces of small red-skinned potatoes (halved)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup of fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh green beans
  • 1 cup of small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cucumber (chopped)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups of torn mixed greens such as arugula, romaine and watercress
  • 1 cup of sprouts such as broccoli, radish, or pea (optional)*

*Note: The original recipe also suggests alfalfa sprouts, which we have removed due to potential food safety concerns.  To find out more, click here.



  1. Clean your hands, all surfaces and utensils, and fresh ingredients before beginning.
  2. Place the potatoes in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover them.  Season the water with salt.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. 
  3. Drain and put in a large bowl.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. 
  5. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and salt it generously, as well.
  6. Add the beans, corn and broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  7. Use a strainer to scoop out the vegetables and immediately plunge them into the ice water.
  8. Drain the vegetables, pat them dry, and add to the bowl of potatoes.   Add tomatoes and cucumber to the bowl, as well.
  9. Toss the salad with the greens and sprouts.  Add salt, pepper and dressing, as desired.
  10. Chill at less than 40 °F until you are ready to serve.
  11. Clean your hands, all surfaces and utensils.



  • 1 glove of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh chives
  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Check the expiration date on all ingredients before beginning.
  2. Clean your hands, all surfaces and utensils, and fresh ingredients before beginning.
  3. Smash the garlic glove and sprinkle with salt.
  4. With the side of a large knife, mash and smear until the mixture is paste-like.
  5. Scrape the paste into a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Whisk to make a creamy paste.
  6. Chill until you are ready to serve.
  7. Clean your hands, all surfaces and utensils.


Check back tomorrow for another safe and savory recipe.

For more information on foodborne illness, contact the Boston Public Health Commission at (617) 534-5611 or visit our website.


Rachel Bocchino is the IDB Social Media Outreach Intern for STI Education.  She attends the College of the Holy Cross, is a Classics Major/Chemistry Minor and in the Pre-Health Program.  She will graduate in 2014.