With long days and warm weather, having an outdoor barbecue is an excellent way to spend a summer afternoon. Here at UNI, we want to keep you aware of food poisoning and how to avoid it, especially when preparing food outdoors.
Bacteria that can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea grow more easily in warmer temperatures. This makes it essential to keep your food properly stored until it is time to start preparing and cooking. It is very important to avoid cross contamination. Cross contamination is when raw meats touch other foods, plates, utensils, or peoples’ hands that will not be sterilized by cooking. Be sure to have dedicated tongs and plates for raw foods, and keep them set away from the rest of your food and accessories. Always wash your hands after handling raw meats as well, as hands are the easiest thing to cross contaminate with.
When cooking meats, you must make sure you cook all the way through to ensure there are no harmful bacteria still living on your food. This can be difficult when cooking over an open fire, as people often want to begin cooking before the fire is ready. Your coals should be white hot–not just red–before you put your meats on. If the fire is not hot enough, you will cook the outside but not the inside–your food will look like it’s done, but it may still carry harmful bacteria.
If you’re feeling ill, be sure to give your friends at UNI Urgent Care a call and we will take quick steps determine why you’re feeling ill and how to get you better ASAP.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice nor is it intended as such. If you have questions about your health please contact your primary care physician, our offices, or 911 in case of an emergency.
Information from the Center for Disease Control was used in this post.