The Fourth of July is almost here and that means parades, fireworks, and outdoor cooking! Whether its barbecue, grilling or picnics nearly 80% of Americans will be hosting or attending some type of outdoor cookout. However, while grilling outdoors all day long is one of the best parts of Fourth of July parties, the warm weather can bring an increased risk of foodborne illness, as bacteria in food multiply faster at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
Stop Foodborne Illness, a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens, wants you to be prepared for not only a fun, food-safe holiday but for a whole summer of grilling. According to Forbes, 75% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker and 63% of them use their grill or smoker year-round while the hardcore grill masters and pit bosses, 43% of adult grill/smoker owners in the U.S., use them at least once a month through winter.
Whatever your grilling season of choice, brush up on Stop Foodborne Illness’ food safety practices and tips, from preparation to post-party cleanup, before you head outside.
Before You Cook
Food safety starts at the grocery store. Be sure to keep raw meat as far away as possible from other food items in the cart. When bagging items, keep meat juices from dripping on produce and other groceries by wrapping meats and poultry in separate plastic bags.