No one wants to get a stomach bug. It’s a pretty miserable experience, but for most of us, once the worst is over, we’re back to normal in a matter of days or week. But for cancer patients with weakened immune systems, catching a virus can lead to severe health complications. So, if you’re planning on attending or throwing a BBQ this summer, keep these food safety tips in mind to make sure you, your friends and your family stay healthy.
Keep it clean
Make sure you wash everything—your hands, cooking utensils and surfaces, plates, platters, bowls, cups—everything. The warm summer weather makes it easier for bacteria to grow, so keep things clean to prevent that bacteria from spreading. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you’re out and about, so you can easily keep your hands clean.
Keep a food thermometer handy
To make sure the meat you grill is cooked thoroughly, check the internal temperature with a food thermometer. Here is a list of recommended temperatures
from the FDA.
Keep cold foods cold
Leaving lunchmeat out in the sun all day is a big no-no. The same goes for raw meat and dishes like tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad or seafood. Keep these items refrigerated as long as possible, and transport them to your picnic or BBQ area using an insulated cooler. Once you’ve reached your destination, avoid keeping your cooler in the sun. Put it in a shady area or cover it with a blanket.
Say goodbye to your leftovers
After you’ve enjoyed your food, try to pack up your leftovers as soon as possible, using that insulated cooler you brought to the BBQ. If the ice is melted in the cooler, it’s probably best to throw the leftover food away, and if your leftovers have been sitting out for over an hour, they’ve got to go. Toss them.