Avoiding foodborne illness at your next backyard barbeque

While this summer may look different, the opportunity to host a virtual potluck or socially distant cookout remains. With any occasion where self-prepared food is involved, there is a chance for people to be exposed to a foodborne illness.

Foodborne illness, also called food poisoning, often occurs when the food has been contaminated by disease-causing germs either by cross-contaminating food or undercooking food.

Some of the most common culprits of food poisoning are:

  • Undercooked meats (such as poultry, beef and pork)
  • Undercooked seafood and raw shellfish
  • Raw milk products
  • Raw eggs

The CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness each year. Yet, preventing food poisoning is as simple as following these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands and food preparation surfaces often with warm soap and water
  • Separate raw meats, seafood, and eggs from each other
  • Be sure to cook the food to the right internal temperature
  • Refrigerate food as soon as possible
  • Never thaw food on the counter

Use these tips when preparing your next meal, be it with your closest friends and family or yourself, to ensure your food is not only delicious but safe for consumption.