Nichole Hannahs

Safely Prepare for Holiday Cooking

by Nichole Hannahs on July 3, 2013 at 6:42 am

Celebrating the 4th of July with a cookout is a fun way to commemorate the holiday.

For those planning an outdoor event there’s a way to keep you and your family from getting sick from the food that you eat. A Muskingum County Health Department Sanitarian said it all starts with washing your hands before cooking or eating and use a meat thermometer to make sure food is cooked to the correct temperature.

"The recommendation is always to get it to code," said Jason Tilton sanitarian at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department. "Just cook everything to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When you’re using your thermometer you’re going to insert the thermometer in the thickest portion of what you’re cooking."

Tilton also said if you’re taking food to an event make sure to do the preparation at home to avoid contamination. It’s also important to not leave food sitting for more than two hours. There’s also a special way to pack it when traveling.

"If you have multiple coolers that’s wonderful. You can separate the raw products from the read to eat," said Tilton. "But, if you only have one cooler really double bag, wrap stuff good and keep your most hazardous food below your ready to eat stuff."

Tilton said that it takes between 12-24 hours to become sick from a food borne illness. If multiple people in your party get sick it’s important to contact the health department.