How To Plan A Safe Summer Cookout
Hosting a safe summer cookout used to mean keeping the grill flames low, spraying mosquitoes away, or keeping the potato salad cold. However, these days there is a lot more to consider.
Year after year, literally hundreds of folks, out for a summer picnic or cookout, fall victim to unnecessary illnesses. Ranging from heat stroke to bacterial infections, these potential problems can easily be avoided with attention to just a few safety tips. As we look forward to reconnecting with our family and friends this summer, it is important to consider safety procedures to ensure that your love ones are safe.
It is vital to social distance, but if you want to plan a safe summer cookout, below are a few precautions to consider.
Remind your guests to stay at home if they are sick, are showing symptoms, or have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Stay outdoors when possible. Restricting your cookout to your lawn is the best thing to do as being inside increases the risk of infection. If this is not feasible, make sure the room is well ventilated by opening doors and windows for airflow.
Follow the well-known two-hour rule. Leaving food outdoors in the open for over two hours invites bacterial spread and potential infection. When you have finished with the food service part of your outing, place all food back in either a cooler stocked with ice or a refrigerator.
Always fill your cooler with plenty of ice. And double-check the condition of your cooler. Bringing along too much ice is better than leaving food in watery, melted ice, the result of skimping on your ice purchase. While ice will remain solid for a reasonable length of time in the shade of the old oak tree, the type and condition of your cooler can and will determine whether or not your food is maintained at a safe, cool temperature.
While transporting food to your picnic or outing, put the cooler in the air-conditioned part of your vehicle vs. the hot trunk. Yes, insulated coolers do a satisfactory job of maintaining an adequately cool temperature. Still, keeping the food in your cooler, in the air conditioning provides an extra measure of safety against early melting.
Following these simple safety tips will help to insure a healthy and memorable outing. For More information about safety measure from the CDC, please click here.
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