From Baptist Health South Florida
2 min. read
Over the past few months, public health officials nationwide have been busy investigating various outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli — two completely different types of bacteria — that can be present in contaminated foods.
Now, with the long Fourth of July holiday and the rest of summer ahead, food grilling safety should be of concern for families, especially in the hot and muggy climate of South Florida.
That’s because barbecuing in South Florida almost always entails warm weather. So it is especially important to take extra precautions when preparing perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. The warm weather provides a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause food-borne illness.
It’s not just meats you have to worry about. Sometimes raw fruits and vegetables contain harmful germs, such as Salmonella, E. coli and listeria, that can make you and your family sick. In the U.S., nearly half of foodborne illnesses are caused by germs on fresh produce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The safest produce is cooked; the next safest is washed, the CDC states.
Always wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water — even if you do not plan to eat the peel —so dirt and germs on the surface do not get inside when you cut, the CDC states. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
Here are more helpful grilling types (also see infographic from the CDC below):
Before the barbecue:
At the grill:
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