Tips for Preventing Foodborne Illnesses in the Summertime

Foodborne illnesses are more common in the summer, thanks to warm temperatures and lots of al fresco dining. That doesn’t mean you have to cancel your cookout or expect a trip to hospital for urgent care after a barbeque. Instead, take the proper precautions to prevent foodborne illnesses and enjoy the season with these tips.

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is a good way to avoid foodborne illnesses all year long. While you’re preparing food, wash your hands before you begin and after handling raw meat. You should also wash up before you eat to avoid transferring any germs on your hand to your food. Use soap and warm water, or, if you’re away from home, carry moist towelettes to clean your hands off on the go.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Don’t let dangerous bacteria on raw meat contaminate the uncooked food on your menu. Never reuse utensils or cutting boards that handled raw meat unless you wash them thoroughly. When grilling, be careful not to use the plate that carried raw meat to serve the cooked food. For marinated food, discard the marinade rather than using it as a sauce.

Practice Cooler Smarts

For chilled food you plan to serve outdoors, a cooler is a must. To keep items in the cooler as cold as possible, fill any empty space with ice or ice packs. Store the cooler out of the sun as much as possible and replenish the ice as it melts. When cold food is removed the cooler, don’t allow it to sit out for longer than an hour. Food that sits out for longer may become contaminated, so either return the food to ice or throw it out.

Foodborne illness can turn into a medical emergency, so when you need urgent care, choose the Regional Medical Center of San Jose . Our full-service San Jose hospital provides comprehensive healthcare services, including stroke care, breast care, and robotic surgery. Get a referral to one of our physicians or more information by calling (408) 259-4000.

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