Food poisoning peaks in the summer, how to stay safe

File (MGN/GNU)
File (MGN/GNU)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – As summer kicks off many are firing up the grill and packing up the coolers for barbeques and picnics.

Before you join the outdoor fun health officials have a warning about food poisoning.

When heating up the grill for some of that savory BBQ keep this in mind, there are more cases of food poisoning in the summer than any other season.

“People think they can just sit things out and everything will be ok,” said Rick Burchell, Owner of Rick’s Smokehouse and Grill.

More than 48 million people are diagnosed with food poisoning each year, most of those cases occur during the summertime as bacteria multiply faster in the heat.

“We keep things cool and refrigerated until it’s time to serve them for food consumption,” said Burchell.

As the old saying goes keep the cold things cold and the hot things hot.

“Serve the food within a four hour period but it needs to stay at 140 degrees and above in that four hour period, I would say eat it as quickly as you can within an hour or half an hour,” said Burchell.

Illnesses like E. coli and Listeria can occur if food is cooked or stored improperly.

“It’s not flu symptoms, it’s not coughing, it’s not super high fevers or body aches, it’s gastrointestinal, vomiting, diarrhea, and really bad stomach cramps,” said Dr. John Bolinger, with Union Hospital.

Symptoms can strike instantly or even a few days after eating the contaminated food.

“Some food illnesses can be serious or even deadly,” said Bolinger.

So be sure to pay attention to your food so it doesn’t spoil your fun.

“It does not take long for the flies to find you, so keep things covered up until you are ready to eat, uncover them, serve, and then get things covered back up as quickly as possible,” said Burchell.

Also avoid letting raw meat touch cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw.

For more safety tips you can click here.

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