Break out the grill and all the "fixins". Summer may be ending, but tailgating has just begun. Before you serve up your favorite feast, you may need a crash course in food safety.
"There's such a risk of food borne illnesses from not handling food safety it's something that we practice and we preach. Wash your hands and keep your area clean at all times," said Chef David Tiner, an instructor with Louisiana Culinary Institute.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 130,000 people are hospitalized each year thanks to food borne pathogens. Most recently, stomachs nationwide have been turning thanks to an outbreak of a nasty stomach bug called cyclospora.
Fortunately, good food prep can keep your family, and your tummy, safe.
Tiner says the biggest rule for any cook is to wash hands.
"Washing your hands has been proven to be the greatest defense against food borne illnesses," said Tiner.
Wash all fruits and veggies, even if they are prepackaged. You can even use a mild soap to remove any waxy covering.
Never let raw meat come in contact with cooked foods, and make sure all meat is cooked to the proper temperature.
Ground meat should be cooked to 160-165 degrees.
Poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.
Pork should be cooked to 145 degrees.
Do not allow food to sit out for more than a few hours, and make sure all leftovers are kept cool and properly stored.
For more tips and information on food safety, click here.