The Fourth of July is a time to gather with friends and family, have a nice cold drink, watch the children run around, and fire up the grill. However, nothing ruins the party faster than spoiled or contaminated food.  Did you know that one in six Americans could get sick from food poisoning this year alone? Foodborne illness sends more than 100,000 Americans to the hospital each year and can have long-term health consequences. 

It is so easy for us to get lost in the celebration and let the food sit out in the heat for too long.  But that is not all we have to keep in mind. Avoiding cross-contamination in our food prep and how we store our food is just as important.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 4 easy steps to make sure your food is safe - Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

In addition to food safety, we also need to be aware of safe grilling. July is one of the peak months for grilling fires. Not only do you have to be aware of the food you are serving but managing the grill in the safest way possible is also important. Here are some tips for safe grilling for the holiday and all summer long.

  • 1

    Check gas grill hoses for cracks, leaks, and holes

  • 2

    Keep children away from grills

  • 3

    Never grill indoors or in an enclosed area or on a surface that might catch fire

  • 4

    Keep the grill at least two feet away from decks, siding, branches, and any other equipment that can catch fire quickly

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