There are a few tips to consider when avoiding foodborne illnesses this summer. It can be easy to keep you and your loved ones safe while enjoying outdoor picnics and cookouts. If you do find yourself feeling sick within a few hours of eating, follow these precautions to help treat yourself. In cases that last a few days, visit AFC Urgent Care Boulder County for illness treatment from our providers.
Keep Leftovers Cool
Bacteria grow faster when the weather is warmer, which is why it’s much easier to get food poisoning during the summer. As soon as you’re done eating, be sure to store all leftovers properly in the refrigerator. Food left between 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and 140 degrees Fahrenheit allows for bacteria growth. All raw foods should be left chilled until ready to cook or grill. Food should be refrigerated within one to two hours after cooking and be sure to throw away any perishable food that has not been.
Cook All Meats Thoroughly
No matter the time of year, it’s important to cook all poultry, seafood, and other meat to its safe internal temperature. Meat thermometers can be used to help determine if the food needs to be cooked longer. When smoking meat, be sure to keep the temperature of the smoker between 225 degrees Fahrenheit and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash all fruits and produce before cooking, and especially if you are not planning on cooking or baking it. Be sure to rinse ahead of time if you are bringing it to a picnic or another location where a sink is not available. Wash your hands before and after handling any food, especially raw meat. Try and use soap and water, but an alcohol-based sanitizer will work as well. Clean all surfaces and utensils before and after cooking.
Don’t let raw meats, poultry, or seafood contaminate cooked foods. Dispose of or cook through any marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat. Keep all raw meats away from ready-to-eat foods or cooked foods. Avoid using the same utensils on cooked food that you used on raw food.
Food Poisoning Symptoms
If you do end up with food poisoning this summer, recognize the symptoms and get plenty of rest. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the entire duration as well. If symptoms last more than three days, visit AFC Boulder & AFC Louisville for treatment. Common symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps