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Food, Water, Sun, And Insect Safety For This 4th of July

Remember to practice food hygiene for 4th of July cookouts. 


Illinois Department of Public Health reminding the public of safety tips to reduce the chance of spoiling the holiday by contracting a foodborne illness. 


When transporting your food, keep them 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in an insulated cooler. You can keep food in one cooler and drinks in another to keep the meat cold. You should also consider keeping coolers out of direct sun. 


To prevent cross-contamination, food should be kept separate. For example, raw meat should be stored and prepared separately from fruits, veggies, cheeses, salads and other cooked foods. 


Before firing up the grill, thaw food safely in the fridge, with cold water, or in the microwave.  Always marinate food in the refrigerator, no matter the type of marinade. Never thaw or marinate meat, poultry, or seafood on the counter. Harmful germs can quickly multiply at room temperature. 


Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat, and make sure you thoroughly clean the grill surface. 


Whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, fish, and veal require internal temperatures of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered fully cooked. Hamburgers and other ground beef require 160 degrees, while all poultry and pre-cooked meats require 165 degrees. 


In addition to food safety, IDPH reminds the public about water and swimming safety. Make sure you supervise young children around the water and always use life jackets. You should also avoid alcohol while supervising children. 


While you’re enjoying the sun, make sure you apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going into water or going outside. You should also begin increasing your fluid intake to prepare for the weekend. 


Also, be aware of heat stroke symptoms, which include hot, dry skin, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperature, confusion/dizziness, and slurred speech. 


Meanwhile, the department of health says you should remember to be careful of insect-borne illness, by wearing insect repellent and avoid being outside during prime mosquito biting hours. 


For more information, visit the IDPH website. 

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