Grilling Out This 4th of July Could Make You and Your Family Sick
Family cookouts are a staple of the traditional Independence Day Celebration, but your cooking could be hurting your loved ones
FARGO, N.D.– The CDC reports more than 47 million people get sick from undercooked food each year.
Family cookouts are a staple of the traditional Independence Day Celebration, but your cooking could be hurting your loved ones.
Under cooked foods and cross contamination can cause people to get sick.
“The best way to avoid cross contamination is to use separate cutting boards,” says Alexis Allen of Family Wellness. “Always use a meat thermometer to make sure that your meat is all the way cooked through the thickest part of the meat that you’re cooking. It is important to be patient while you’re grilling, it’s always fun to want to check and see how it’s doing, but you want to keep it shut to ensure more even cooking.”
The symptoms of a food borne illness can take up to 24 hours to take effect.
“Best case scenario you might have an upset stomach,” added Allen. “Worst case scenario, you might develop some sort of food poisoning so a lot of stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, things of those sorts.”
Hot foods aren’t the only way people can get ill.
“Your cold foods can cause some problems because if you leave your cold foods out for too long then some bacteria can start to multiply,” says dietitian Kelsey Herrick. “If it’s heating up to the temperature where it shouldn’t be, any bacteria can start to form.”
Whether you’re using propane or charcoal this Fourth of July, remember to cook your meats thoroughly to keep you and your family safe.
Bacteria isn’t the only health hazard of grilling.
“It’s super important that parents are manning the grill when there’s kids around, because it’s a very hot item there are flames involved so making sure that there is always a parent next to the grill and that kids aren’t getting too close to avoid any burnt fingers, burnt off eyebrows, anything like that we want to try to avoid,” added Allen.
The CDC also says washing your hand frequently while cooking, can help prevent food borne illnesses.
Remember to be safe and have fun this Fourth of July.