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Tips to stay safe & avoid foodborne illnesses this Memorial Day

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:48 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and as families get together to spend time outdoors and fire up the grill it is important you are taking steps to stay safe.

USDA Expert Meredith Carothers joined Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas at the digital desk to talk about four safety tips to avoid foodborne illnesses.

“Those being clean, separate, cook and chill,” Carothers said. “Clean is starting with clean hands and utensils and making sure those get washed throughout food preparations and after as well. Separated is keeping your raw meat and poultry products separate from any foods that are ready to eat or will be cooked later on. That is especially important as you are taking raw food to a grill and then putting cooked food on a clean plate after. Cook is cooking to a safe internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer. It’s very important to make sure you have with you to make sure you have that harmful foodborne illness causing bacteria has been killed in the cooking process. And the lastly, chill is keeping your perishable foods at a safe temperature.”

Beyond just food safety, Nurse Practitioner Collin Hardwick with Methodist Medical Group said it is important to stay hydrated and if you plan to drink alcohol make sure you have a designated driver.

Hardwick said hospital visits tend to spike on Memorial Day weekend.

“I worked in the ER for a lot of years and Memorial Weekend, New Year’s Eve, those are the nights that we see accidents coming in, lacerations, head trauma, accidental drownings, car wrecks,” Hardwick said.

Watch their interviews here or on our streaming apps -- Amazon Fire, AppleTV and Roku.

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