How to prevent sickness at your holiday cookout - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

How to prevent sickness at your holiday cookout

To remove bacteria from the grill, try doing a burnout before you place food on the grill. (Source:WALB) To remove bacteria from the grill, try doing a burnout before you place food on the grill. (Source:WALB)
Cookouts are common over the 4th of July Weekend. (Source:WALB) Cookouts are common over the 4th of July Weekend. (Source:WALB)
Try keeping cold items cool by placing them on the top of ice. (Source:WALB) Try keeping cold items cool by placing them on the top of ice. (Source:WALB)
James C. Davis, Environmental Health County Manager (Source:WALB) James C. Davis, Environmental Health County Manager (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Many people will be celebrating the holiday weekend with a 4th of July cookout, switching up their usual cooking areas.

The Department of Public Health wants to make sure that you play it safe when it comes to your cookout.

James C. Davis is the Environmental Health County Manager for the Department of Public Health.

He said there are certain factors that you’ll want to consider, so you don’t become sick.

Davis told WALB News 10 that people should consider time and temperature.

For those doing the grilling, Davis suggests using a food thermometer to determine on whether or not the meat is fully cooked.

The appropriate temperature varies between meat and poultry, however it should all reach above 145° F.

For colder items, like potato salad, you’ll want to make sure that the serving temperature is below 40° F.

Davis suggested keeping the lids on colder items and placing them over ice to maintain a cooler temperature.

“Bacteria tends to multiply between the ranges of 40°-135° F and that’s what we call the danger zone. So, if you’re below 40° or above 135°, that minimizes the bacteria from reproducing,” Davis explained.

Making sure that you’re serving food at the appropriate times can prevent foodborne illnesses.

Foodborne illnesses are most common among the young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

The symptoms are usually flu-like and can last hours and sometimes days.

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