Summer Food Safety Tips

Summer Food Safety Tips

Each summer we see a spike in ER visits because of food-related illness. People come in with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps or pain after eating something at a barbecue or picnic. Why? Because as temperatures rise, bacteria multiply and you have a higher risk of getting sick. These Summer food safety tips will help to keep you and your family safe.

Always keep these summer food safety tips in mind

  • Wash your hands before making salad or preparing food
  • Use caution when touching raw meat and seafood, and wash everything
  • Keep food cool or refrigerated until it’s time to cook or eat
  • Put cooked meats on a clean, dry plate
  • Never leave food out in the summer heat for more than an hour
  • Beware of foods made with mayonnaise, milk, and eggs
  • If packing a cooler, keep meats and seafood separate from other foods
  • Cook meat and poultry thoroughly at the picnic or BBQ site; partial cooking at home can allow bacteria to survive and multiply
  • Bring a meat thermometer with you and use it when grilling

The USDA recommends these temperature guidelines:

    • Poultry (whole, pieces & ground): 165 °F
    • Ground meats: 160 °F
    • Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts & chops): 145 °F

We hope you have a safe and healthy summer! Remember, when it comes to your family’s health, Be Sure.

Don’t let the Bugs Spoil your Fun

Outdoor activities are a big part of summer.  However, Texas outdoors aren’t always pleasant. On top of the scorching heat, they are plagued with bug bites and can lead to unknown, unattractive rashes. You can take simple precautions to avoid the stress of covering these awkward, unattractive spots.

Bug Bites

While some bug bites are simply uncomfortable and annoying, others can carry serious diseases. Either way, it is important to use the following methods to prevent bites when you are outdoors:

  • Apply bug spray regularly.
  • Wear long clothing when you hike in grassy areas.
  • Avoid tall grass.
  • Cover food to avoid attracting insects to your picnic area.

If a bite does occur, apply soothing ointment or lotion and avoid additional irritation. If the bite becomes infected, leads to an extreme reaction or seems serious, then seek help from the ER right away.

Skin Rashes

Most rashes are caused by heat, poor skin care, bug bites, and allergic reactions. In the summer, heat rashes are particularly common. It may be easy to neglect skin care amidst your busy summer schedule, but a few simple precautions can prevent long-lasting rashes:

  • Wear loose clothing in the heat; avoid wearing tight clothes.
  • Take a cool shower or bath soon after extensive exercise or outdoor activities.
  • Try to keep cool when possible. Stay in the shade, use a fan and turn up the AC.
  • Stay hydrated.

You can treat most skin rashes by applying soothing lotions and ointments, avoiding triggers of the rash and reducing stress on the area. However, if the rash causes other medical issues, does not fade after an extended period of time or leads to a severe allergic reaction, seek medical attention.

Don’t let the threat of bugs and rashes keep you from the outdoors this summer. Take the proper precautions and treatment steps.

When it comes to your family’s health, Be Sure. 

Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

 Heat Stroke Heat Exhaustion

 

 

 

 

When temperatures rise there’s a higher risk of heat related illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and they may sneak up on you without even realizing it. Learn these signs and symptoms so you can be safe in the heat.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and heat stroke can be life threatening. It’s important to know how to spot both of these conditions and act fast. You can lower your risk by limiting exposure to extreme temperatures, wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and by staying well hydrated.

If you’re outside, limit alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water. Also, try not to over-exert yourself and use extreme caution when exercising outdoors. If you know ahead of time that you will be outside for a long time on a hot day, start to hydrate the day before.

Be Aware of Heat Related Symptoms

Seek emergency medical help immediately if someone has these symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps
  • General weakness
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pale, cold or clammy skin
  • Body temperature higher than 103 F
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hot, dry, red or moist skin
  • Loss of consciousness

Enjoy the Outdoors… Just be Safe

The Dallas-Fort Worth area offers a lot of indoor and outdoor activities for the entire family. Whatever you choose to do this Summer, we hope you enjoy it.  Have fun in the pool and on the lake. Show off your outdoor cooking skills to your friends. Visit the parks where you can walk, hike, run, and bike. Do what you love… just make sure you don’t over exert yourself and be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

When it comes to your family’s health, Be Sure.