Holiday Food Safety

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“This right here, the food. Grilling outside, cookouts and family,” Justin Allen said. 

Barbecues and picnics are synonymous with warm weather. 

Campers at Sullivan County Park and Lake have been cooking out all weekend. 

And everyone has their Memorial Day favorites.

“My favorite Memorial Day food is hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, tacos, hot dogs. And I like to put lots and lots of ketchup and lots and lots of mustard.”    

But if not cooked properly the food you’re eating could leave you feeling under the weather.  

“It’s very common and this is unusual hot temperatures for us,” Loraine Cira said. “So the message is even more important to really be conscious about the food born illness and these temperatures.”

According to the CDC 1 in 6 Americans are sickened and 1 hundred and 28 thousand are hospitalized each year due to foodborne illnesses.
    
And food poisoning peaks in the summer months when temperatures provide a breeding ground for germs to flourish. 

“Ice is your most important, probably your best friend during these warm temperatures,” Cira said. “You also want to keep your raw meats in a tuber-wear container separate. And it’s also not wise to precook your meal.” 

Register Dietitian Loraine Cira says there are steps folks can take to keep your family and guest safe. 

If you plan on eating outside put colder foods like potato salad and chip dip on ice.

Don’t leave food out for more than an hour, any longer and it needs to be discard. 
    
And use a food thermometer to ensure grilled meats have reached the proper temperature and cold foods have not gone bad. 

The time temperatures danger zone is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you take time to prepare your food properly your table is sure to be happy and safe this Memorial Day. 

“A lot of yums, a lot of silence,” Allen said. “You know nobody wants to talk when it’s that good.”

Another tip, bring soap and water to wash hands, surfaces and cutting boards. 

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