News Flash

Fire Department

Posted on: July 23, 2020

Summer food and firework safety

Meat and vegetables on skewers laid across a lit grill

To millions of Americans, summer is a time for fireworks and backyard cookouts. For some, it also can be a time of food poisoning and firework injuries. By following a few basic safety tips from the Texas Poison Center Network, we can make sure our summer fun isn’t spoiled.

Source: Texas Poison Center Network

Food Safety

Clean

  • Wash your hands, and wash them often, to help prevent the spread of bacteria!
  • Food preparers should start clean by washing food contact surfaces and their hands before preparing raw meat.

COVID-19 Reminders

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no evidence that COVID-19 infections are associated through the transmission of food.
  • Do not clean fruits & vegetables with bleach even if you are going to peel them later since it can still seep into your food even if you rinse or peel it.
  • There is no need to employ new food-washing methods, stick to well-known food safety guidelines.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables under clean, running water.
  • If you must disinfect the food packaging, make sure you do not apply disinfectant to the food you’re actually going to consume.

Separate

  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate from each other.
  • Raw meats and their juices should be kept separate from foods that will not be cooked, such as hotdog and hamburger toppings.
  • It is best to not use the same cutting board for raw meats and vegetables that won’t be cooked to avoid cross contamination.

Cook

  • Don’t forget to use a thermometer to help prevent foodborne illness.
  • Just because the meat looks cooked, doesn’t mean it is bacteria free.
  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops) should reach 145°F with a three-minute rest time
  • Fish: 145°F
  • Ground meats (beef, lamb, veal, pork): 160°F
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F

Chill

  • Foods that are not handled and stored properly are a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Leftover cooked meats should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.
  • If you plan to have a toppings bar with items like mayo, sliced tomatoes or avocado, be sure to keep them cold by placing them on a tray of ice. Be sure to replenish the ice as needed!
  • When in doubt, throw it out! 

Firework Safety

  • According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are on average 180 people who go to an emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries around July 4th.
  • Burns, lost fingers and blindness are not the only terrible consequences of improper fireworks usage; poisonings can also be a threat.
  • Toddlers and infants are curious and often explore by putting things in their mouths.
  • Be sure all fireworks are kept up and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Fireworks contain chemicals that could cause injury or irritation if licked or swallowed.
  • The severity of the health issues resulting from ingesting a firework will depend on the type of fireworks and the amount that was ingested
  • Fireworks can also be highly toxic to pets symptoms ranging from seizures to kidney failure can occur.
  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, before buying or using them.
  • Never throw or aim fireworks toward anyone, and keep them away from houses, trees, bushes, and other flammable materials.

Glowstick Safety

  • Remind children not to chew on glow sticks.
  • They contain an oily liquid, dibutyl phthalate, which is a mild irritant.
  • If it gets on the skin or in the mouth, rinse it off immediately.
  • Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 if anything more than mild skin or mouth irritation develops.
  • If it gets into the eyes, irrigate (rinse) the eyes immediately.
  • Be sure to remove any contact lenses.
  • Use room temperature water and irrigate for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

For more information, visit

If you think someone has been exposed to or might be having an adverse effect from a firework product, immediately call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center. You can call this toll-free number from anywhere in the U.S., 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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