Fourth of July: Safe Grilling and Food Handling Tips (Infographic)

For a festive Fourth of July, a family picnic is popular tradition. To keep cookouts healthy and fun, be sure to season your grill or picnic basket with safe-food handling practices, says Cindy Shaffer, M.D., a Baptist Health Medical Group physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

How important are safe-food handling steps? Consider this: The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year food-borne diseases cause:
• About 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) to get sick.
• Approximately 128,000 hospitalizations.
• And 3,000 deaths.

“Food-borne diseases are caused by consumption of contaminated food or drink,” Dr. Shaffer says, adding that there are more than 200 pathogens—bacteria, viruses or parasites—that can cause illness from food.

Her No. 1 tip for food safety: hand-washing, especially before cooking and before eating. Correct hand-washing can reduce the risk of cross-contamination, in which pathogens can spread from raw meat to other food items.

“Cooks can avoid cross contamination by washing hands with soap and warm water before handling raw meat and then before cooking,” Dr. Shaffer says.

Food Safety Tips:

• Keep raw meat refrigerated and away from other foods.
• Use the refrigerator to defrost meat.
• Designate separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and use a different set for other foods.

Here are other recommendations:


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