Celebrating the Fourth of July food and animal safety-style

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our independence. But to celebrate it properly, make sure you declare your independence from foodborne illness. Check out some tips below to keep your Fourth of July BBQ from taking an icky turn.

  • Watch out for cross-contamination. Don’t use the same utensils and dishes for raw foods as you do for cooked foods.
  • Marinating some meat? Keep it in the fridge. Do not use leftover marinade on ready-to-eat foods as it will cross-contaminate it with juices from the raw meat that previously was basking in its marinade-y goodness.
  • Don’t leave food out for more than two hours. If it’s more than 90°F (which, according to the weather man will be the case for many places in the U.S.), cut that time in half.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Use a meat thermometer. And no, eyeballing the color of the meat doesn’t count.
    • Ground beef: 160°F
    • Poultry: 165°F
    • Beef steaks, pork and lamb: 145°F
    • Hot dogs: 165°F
    • Wash your hands often, especially after handling raw ingredients.

It’s not just people at the barbeques; our furry friends will be there as well putting on their best faces for some grilled delights. Here are a few tips on keeping pets cool, healthy and hydrated during what might be a pretty hot day.

  • Make sure your pup (or other pets) have plenty of water and shade.
  • Making a quick run to the grocery store for something you forgot? Don’t leave Fido locked in the car. Not only is it dangerous and uncomfortable, it’s also illegal in many states.
  • If you’re by the water, keep an eye on your pet (especially if they’re uncomfortable around it).
  • We all know dogs and fireworks aren’t always the greatest combo. Check out these tips from The Coloradoan on how to keep your dog calm and comfortable during the festivities.

For more grilling tips, check out our previous grilling post here, or a Foodsafety.gov post here.

For more hot weather tips for pets, check out our previous post here.

From everyone at Neogen, have a happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July!

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