Food and Mosquito Safety Tips for this July 4th

Posted on Jun 30, 2017

Amarillo, TX – The City of Amarillo’s Environmental and Public Health departments would like to encourage the public to take a few precautions to ensure this Fourth of July holiday ends with nothing but great memories. The rain Amarillo has received and warmer temperatures have created a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Take part in preventing mosquitoes by following the four “Ds”:

  • Drain all standing water
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants
  • DEET: wear insect repellant with DEET
  • Daily: all day every day

“We want our community to have a fun and safe Independence Day holiday,” says Environmental Health Director Shaun May. “Food poisonings, mosquito bites, and swimming hazards can sure put a damper on the fun so please make sure to take some time to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

To ensure your friends and family can enjoy the fireworks without a food-borne illness, follow these tips to help keep the food safe:

  • Start with clean hands, a clean grill and clean utensils.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water. Hand washing is the most important thing a person can do to prevent illness.
  • Keep food refrigerated until ready for use.
  • Avoid the “Danger Zone.” Bacteria can grow rapidly between 41 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not leave food unrefrigerated for more than two hours (one hour if the air temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep leftovers in a refrigerator or cooler with ice or ice packs to keep food cold.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Cross-contamination can occur when a cutting board or plate that held raw food comes into contact with foods that are ready to eat. For example, do not cut vegetables for your hamburger on the same surface that was used to cut or season chicken.
  • Always marinate foods in a refrigerator using a glass or plastic food-safe container.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the meat you are cooking to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Undercooked meat can be dangerous because it has not reached a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria that may be present.
  • As a general rule for cookouts, cook all meats to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

The City of Amarillo wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday!

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