Cookouts are a football Sunday tradition, but without attention to food
safety, food poisoning and
emergency care can also become recurrent features of your celebration. Don’t let
foodborne illnesses put a damper on your cookouts. Keep food poisoning
at bay with this advice.
Avoid Marinating Mistakes
Marinades are common in cookouts, since they give grilled meats a serious
flavor boost. When not handled properly, however, marinades can be ground
zero for food poisoning. Meat should always be refrigerated when it is
being marinated, and marinade should be discarded after use. Even though
the meat is cooking, using a marinade as a baste is dangerous because
it may not be sufficiently heated before serving. If you want to use a
marinade as a sauce for cooked meat, either boil it or make a separate
batch specifically for serving.
Watch the Clock
Timing is everything when it comes to food safety. Don’t eat perishable
foods that have been outside for more than two hours in temperatures under
90 degrees F or one hour in higher temperatures. Cook all meat long enough
to kill bacteria. If you’re not sure about cooking times, invest
in a meat thermometer and check out the proper temperature for the meat
you’re cooking on the
Rinse off fresh fruits and veggies before serving them, even if the skin
or rind won’t be eaten. If the fruit or vegetable is firm, use a
vegetable brush to scrub it while it is under the running water. Dry fruits
and veggies thoroughly, especially if you plan to pack them up and transport
them before serving them. In addition to washing produce, be sure to wash
your hands before you start cooking and immediately after handling raw meat.
If a medical emergency does occur, the ER at West Hills Hospital &
Medical Center is here around the clock to help. Choose us when you need
emergency care in West Hills, and call (818) 676-4321 for more information
about our services.