As the Fourth of July approaches, Americans across the country prepare
to celebrate the holiday by gathering family and friends together for
barbecues. While barbecue season peaks in the summer; food and grill related
safety becomes increasingly important. To make certain that your Fourth
of July remains accident-free, remember to practice caution and care when
operating a grill. The
National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) provides the following safety tips to help make your celebration
as safe and enjoyable as possible:
- “Propane and charcoal grills should be used outdoors.
- Before you use a grill, check the gas tank for potential gas leaks.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out
from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Never leave your grill unattended.”
In the case of a burn injury, run cool water over the burn for 10-15 minutes.
If the burn is severe, call 9-1-1 for immediate attention.
Another potential risk during barbecues is food poisoning. Food poisoning
can occur after the consumption of undercooked meat or the improper storage
of food. In order to greatly decrease the risk of contracting foodborne
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the following tips.
"Clean: Make sure you clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water
before and after cooking.
Separate: When grilling, use separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked
meat to avoid cross-contamination.
Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer to ensure
that meat is fully cooked. The minimum internal temperature for safe consumption
is: 165°F for poultry, 160°F for hamburgers, and 145°F for
beef and pork.
Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking.
Do not leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours."
We wish all of our readers a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday!