Health Department safety tips for Memorial Day cookouts to avoid illness or injury

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Food on a barbecue grill. The L.A. Public Health Department offered safety tips for this Memorial Day weekend on how to enjoy a cookout safely.

Memorial Day cookouts and outdoor gatherings are fun — until someone gets sick from a food-borne illness, too much sun or other common holiday maladies or accidents. To keep you safe and in tip-top shape this weekend, public health officials offer some easy-to-follow tips.

For playing at the beach or enjoying a cookout with family and friends, L.A. County’s Public Health Department suggests:

  • If you’re feeding the troops outside, you’ll want to place cooked food on a clean plate or tray — and make sure no one eats off a plate that’s been used to carry raw foods to the barbecue.
  • Don’t use leftover marinade or sauce from the raw food on the cooked food.
  • Keep cold foods like potato salad in the ice chest or refrigerator until just before serving. Don’t let hot foods, like casseroles and meats, cool to room temperature. Serve and eat food as soon as it’s ready.
  • To avoid water-borne illnesses, don’t swallow water while swimming in oceans, lakes or pools — and shower before and after you enter a pool or spa.
  • If you want to stave off sunburn, it’s best to remain in the shade as much as possible — especially between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

Read more tips on the Health Department's website.

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