How To Keep Your Labor Day Cookout Safe

It’s the unofficial end of summer – the Labor Day cookout. The weather is pleasantly warm, fruits and veggies are still in season, and family and friends are off for the holiday. But before you warm up the grill, marinate the meat or pack sandwiches, brush up on outdoor eating tips from Memorial Physician Services Gustavo Mosquera MD, to ensure your family can enjoy the holiday and stay safe from illness or injury.

“Start with proper handling techniques. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold,” Dr. Mosquera said. “Wash all fruits and vegetables and keep cooked food separate from raw food. And always be sure your hands are clean.”

When grilling, follow these safety checks to reduce the risk of fire:

  • Keep the grill outside. Never cook in a tent, garage or any other enclosed area.
  • Make sure the grill is stable. All parts of the unit should be firmly placed on the ground to prevent tipping.
  • Use utensils with long handles to avoid burns and splatters.
  • Have your fire extinguisher ready and use baking soda to control a grease fire.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended.

Cook all food thoroughly. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and wipe down all surfaces that come into contact with food.

And remember if something doesn’t quite go off as planned, Memorial South Sixth ExpressCare, 2950 S. Sixth St. is open Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lab and medical imaging services will also be available during those hours.

All of Memorial’s ExpressCare locations will be open during their regular hours on Saturday and Sunday, and will be open for their regular hours on Tuesday, Sept. 3.