Health Watch -- Memorial Day Weekend: Cookout Preparation

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about Memorial Day weekend and the start of the season for summer fun. A cookout or barbecue is often a traditional part of this holiday weekend, and nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say good food safety practices are essential when you're cooking outdoors.

Foods spoil faster in warm weather, so Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern, says you should keep raw meats for grilling chilled in coolers with plenty of ice. Better yet, refrigerate them. Cook these meats as soon as possible after you remove them from the fridge or the coolers. Use a separate cooler for raw meat so it doesn't contaminate cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after you've handled raw meat and before handling other food.


May 2006

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