With 4th of July right around the corner it means barbecues, fireworks, and family & friends. Though the summer is a great time to relax and enjoy the warm weather, proper precautions must be taken to ensure food borne illnesses do not occur as a result of spoiled food.

With the hotter average temperatures in the summer bacteria tend to thrive in these conditions. Bacteria generally grow the fastest between the temperatures of 90 – 110 degrees and in the high levels of humidity. The best way to prevent food borne illnesses is to first wash your hands with warm soapy water especially if you are going to be handling food or using the restroom. Washing hands is an easy and effective way to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses. Another way to prevent food borne illnesses is to keep foods, especially raw meat, separate from each other.

Some common symptoms of food borne illnesses include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle Aches
  • Cramps

Typically these symptoms can last anywhere from 1 to 7 days and are many times mistaken for a stomach bug. If your symptoms do not improve after 7 days or continue to worsen seek medical attention immediately.