Eating safely on the Fourth of July

Millions of Americans are gearing up to celebrate our country’s independence around the grill, but before you light up you will want to be sure not to send your guests home sick.

Foodborne illness is a serious health threat in the United States. Public health officials say at least 48 million Americans get sick with the disease every year.

U.S. Department of Agriculture representatives say many cases can be prevented by adopting good food-handling practices.

“You want to make sure you wash your hands and surfaces often, make sure you separate your raw meat and poultry from ready to eat foods, cook your meat and poultry to a safe internal temperature, and chill foods promptly,” says the USDA’s Kristina Beaugh.

Foodborne illnesses are more common during the summer months because harmful bacteria multiply faster when foods heat up in warm temperatures.

Meat and poultry should be put on the grill right away once they are brought outdoors and kept at a temperature of about 140 degrees or warmer until they are served.



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