Food Safety Awareness for Cookouts
Family picnics and cookouts are popular ways to celebrate with loved ones. If you’re planning a family get-together in the Las Vegas area, take a few minutes to consider the importance of food safety. Taking a few simple preventive steps now can help reduce the risk that a family member will require emergency care for a foodborne illness. In the event that someone does develop a serious illness, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center offers 24/7 emergency care.
It’s important to thoroughly scrub your hands with soap and water before handling food, but practicing cleanliness in the kitchen should go well beyond this basic precaution. Some people contract foodborne illnesses because of cross-contamination. This can occur if the same utensils that handled raw meats were then used to handle cooked foods. For example, if you bring raw burgers out to the grill on a platter and then use the same platter to hold the cooked burgers, the meat can become contaminated. To avoid cross-contamination, use different utensils and platters or wash them in between use.
Another common cause of foodborne illnesses is the failure to maintain proper temperatures. Perishable foods, both cooked and uncooked, should be either served or refrigerated promptly to avoid spoilage. This is particularly important for foods such as deviled eggs and potato salad with mayonnaise.
If you’ll be bringing food to a gathering away from home, food safety is especially important. Bring either non-perishable items or keep perishable items consistently chilled. You can pack an insulated cooler with ice or frozen gel packs to prevent perishable food from spoiling.
If you or a loved one does develop signs of a foodborne illness , the emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is always available. Our community hospital in Las Vegas provides a full range of emergency care services, preventive wellness services, and chronic disease management services. Please direct requests for emergency care to a dispatcher at 911; non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services may be directed to our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 233-5300.