Six tips on how to stay healthy at a BBQ

Six tips on how to stay healthy at a BBQ

Eating outdoors as the weather heats up is one of the hallmarks of summertime activity, but before you fire up your barbecue grill or send out invitations to the family picnic, there are some precautions you should take to avoid a common occurrence: food poisoning.

Each year one out of 4 persons suffer from food-borne illnesses as a result of eating contaminated food.

Preparing foods with unclean hands, eating undercooked meats, transferring contamination from raw meats to other foods, eating unwashed fruits and vegetables, and leaving perishable food out in warm weather can release a slew of bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, as well as other food borne illnesses. This can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fever.

Here are six tips to stop food-borne illnesses from ruining your BBQ-fun:

1. Wash hands frequently. Wash hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meats.

2. Cook meats thoroughly. It is recommended to use a food thermometer to make sure meats are cooked thoroughly. To stay safe, ground beef or hamburger should be cooked at 70°C, chicken and hot dogs at 75°C and steaks, lamb and fish at 65°C.

3. Don't reuse cooking platters or utensils. Using the same platter or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood to hold cooked foods can spread bacteria from the raw food's juices to the cooked food. Be sure to have clean platters and utensils by the grill to hold and serve cooked food.

4. Rinse all fruits and vegetables. Bacteria and other pathogens can be transferred to the inside of fruits or vegetables by cutting through them. To stay safe, rinse fruits and vegetables under running tap water and dry with a clean paper or cloth towel.

5. Keep foods at their proper temperature. Maintaining a temperature of 60°C for hot foods and 4°C or below for cold foods until they're ready to serve can help prevent the spread of food borne illnesses. Avoid eating hot or cold foods if they've been sitting out for more than two hours in temperatures of 30°C or above.

6. Store leftovers quickly. Put food leftovers in an ice chest or a refrigerator right away. Foods left out for more than two hours should be thrown away.

Now you've read tips on how make sure you or your guests do not get sick immediately after eating at a BBQ, you may also want to see how to prevent eating too many carcinogenic substances, so you stay healthy on the long-term aas well: BBQ-ing safely

Oh, and if you want to protect yourself against to sun, it's best to simply slap on a hat and stay in the shade, rather than expose too much skin and rely on slathering on a lot of high-factor sunscreen. It's probably not even healthy for you and it most certainly is one of the reasons for the massive die-off from corals world wide, it's not even working properly and expensive to boot. Instead, look at what the locals do in extremely hot countries and wear long flowing robes!
Again, more on this in 'Tanning safely'

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