How to keep your food safe as you celebrate the Fourth of July

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 10:05:08-04

With many expected to fire up the grill for the Fourth of July, experts say food safety needs to be a high priority. 

Dietician Kate Zeratsky with Mayo Clinic offered the following tips:

1. When you open the cooler, keep an eye on the clock
-  Limit the time the food is out to an hour in hot weather
 - Use a bowl of ice and then sit your food container in that ice

2. Pay attention to proteins
- Keep meat cold until it hits the grill
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked to a safe temperature
- 160 degrees Fahrneheit for ground meats
- 165 degrees Fahrneheit for poultry
- 140 degrees Fahrneheit for steaks

3. Shield your sweets (desserts and fruit)

“Fruit, with its natural sugars, is going to attract some bugs," Zeratsky said. "So you might want to keep it covered."

4. Better to be safe than sorry

"When in doubt, throw it out,” Zeratsky said. “You don’t want anyone to get sick.”