For Release: June 29, 2015 – Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
Avoid Inviting Foodborne Illness to Independence Day Celebrations
The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate with a barbecue, fireworks, family and friends but it is estimated every year, approximately one in six Americans (or 48 million people) become sick with a foodborne illness.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds the public to follow these tips in order to prevent illnesses this Independence Day:
1. Clean:Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water before, during, and after handling food. Hold friends and family accountable by asking them if they washed their hands. Wash all surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water before and after preparing each food item.
2. Separate:Avoid cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for fresh fruits/veggies and for raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Also make sure to keep these items separate when shopping at the grocery store, storing in the refrigerator, and during preparation.
3. Cook:Grill and cook all meat products to the correct temperature. Use a food thermometer to correctly measure temperatures. Hamburgers should be brown throughout, with no pink in the center and reaching at least 160 degrees. Whole poultry should reach at least 165 degrees; and leftovers should also reach 165 degrees when reheated.
4. Chill: Leaving food sitting out to snack on later can cause problems. To prevent illness, be sure to refrigerate easily spoiled foods within two hours. If the temperature is 90 degrees or higher, then refrigerate within one hour.
5. Ill: Importantly, do not cook food for others when you are ill. If you have had vomiting or diarrhea, wait at least 72 hours after diarrhea has stopped before preparing food for others.