Thousands of Californians are getting ready to kick off summer this Memorial Day with a traditional cookout. However, many of those cookouts are likely to end with a visit to the ER with symptoms of food poisoning, due to lack of proper safety precautions.
The US Department of Agriculture is warning Americans about grilling and barbecue safety this cookout. The agency is asking Americans to take appropriate safety precautions and safe food handling practices to prevent food poisoning. Very often, the kind of food that is served at a cookout or barbecue is contaminated with dangerous pathogens that can cause serious food poisoning.
Children at these cookouts, the elderly, and those who have recently been hospitalized are at a much higher risk of contracting these food poisoning infections. Some of the most popular foods that are usually present on a picnic table at a Memorial Day cookout like salads, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, have a high risk of contamination with food borne pathogens. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, it is very important to make sure that food is not just cleaned and cooked properly, but also refrigerated after cooking.
Very often, food poisoning attorneys find that food is contaminated during the cleaning process. Use separate knives and utensils for washing and cleaning your produce, and separate utensils and chopping boards used for meats and poultry. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water before and after you handle raw meats and other products.
Once you fire up the grill, make sure that you cook the meat to the right temperature. Use a food thermometer to make sure that meat has been cooked to the center to the right temperature. Don’t rely only on the color of the meat. Very often, the meat may seem cooked on the outside, but may not have been cooked very well internally. Typically, your hot dogs must have an internal temperature of 65°, poultry must have temperature of 155°, and ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°.
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