Fodder for Foodies on the Fourth

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a nationally televised hotdog eating contest (really quite something to see), Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with food- and not just staples like hotdogs, hamburgers, and potato salad. The Food Network has some unique Independence Day recipes on their website for those who want some “Independence” from the traditional 4th of July fare. If you’re eating outdoors this Independence Day make sure you follow these tips to make sure your al fresco dining experience is enjoyable.

Dining outdoors

Food-borne illnesses favor the hot conditions found at outdoor events where food is not refrigerated or may be undercooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers food safety tips:

  • Cook foods thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be heated and maintained at 140 °F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40 °F or colder. Maintain cold by placing food dishes in bowls of ice or in a cooler.
  • Live by the “two-hour rule”: Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. 

Drinking outdoors

Liquids containing alcohol cause the human body to lose more fluid, say health educators. So summertime drinking in the sun or heat can present hazards to health, including impaired judgment, balance and coordination. Consider these safety tips if serving:

  • Use designated drivers.
  • Make non-alcoholic beverages as available as alcoholic drinks.
  • Stop serving alcohol before the party ends.
  • If children are attending the event, remember that alcohol may seem more available to them at a party. Make sure you do not serve anyone underage.

From all of the Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agents, have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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