Keeping Your Summer Celebrations Safe: Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

July 4, 2023

As the Fourth of July approaches, many people in Arizona are eagerly anticipating backyard barbecues, picnics, and outdoor festivities. While enjoying the celebrations, it's crucial to prioritize food safety to prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses. This article will provide essential tips and guidelines to ensure that your food remains safe and enjoyable for everyone.

1. Practice proper food handling: Handling food safely is essential in preventing foodborne illnesses. Follow these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling food.
  • Keep raw and cooked foods separate to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Cook foods to their proper internal temperatures using a food thermometer.

2. Ensure proper refrigeration: Keeping food at the correct temperature is crucial to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Follow these tips:

  • Keep perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, and seafood, refrigerated until it's time to cook or serve.
  • Use coolers with ice or ice packs to keep foods cold during outdoor events.
  • Do not leave perishable foods sitting out in hot temperatures for more than two hours (or one hour if the temperature is above 90°F). 

3. Pay attention to grilling safety: Grilling is a popular activity during Fourth of July celebrations. Stay safe by following these grilling tips:

  • Ensure that your grill is clean before use
  • Preheat the grill properly and maintain the right temperature for cooking.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of grilled meats:
    • Cook chicken and turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
    • Cook ground meats to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
    • Cook pork, veal, and lamb to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) with a three-minute rest time.
    • Cook steaks, roasts, and fish to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

4. Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hot Arizona summers. Remember to drink plenty of water and offer refreshing non-alcoholic beverages to your guests. Dehydration can lead to health complications, so ensure that everyone stays hydrated throughout the festivities.


By following these food safety tips, you can enjoy a safe and delicious Fourth of July celebration in Arizona. Remember to prioritize proper food handling, refrigeration, grilling safety, and hydration. Don't forget to share these tips with your family and friends to ensure everyone has a memorable and safe holiday weekend. Wishing you a happy and foodborne illness-free Fourth of July!