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Don't Let Food Poisoning Spoil Your Party

Keep your cookout or picnic safe with these tips

Chill and Grill

When moving your feast to a picnic spot, packing the cooler is a critical step. Start with cold food; don't use a cooler to actually chill your food. Your best bet is to prepare the food the night before so that it is properly cooled when you place it into your clean and sanitized cooler. Be sure to put any raw meat or poultry on the bottom so their juices will not contaminate other foods.

A cooler packed with ice or ice packs and cold food will stay cold for hours. Transport the cooler in an air-conditioned car and place it under a shade tree until grill time.

Keep the food cooler closed until you are ready to cook. Keep drinks in a separate cooler so the frequent opening and closing does not affect food temperature. And don't forget to bring along moist towelettes or some hand sanitizer to keep hands clean.

Follow these simple steps, and you can keep food poisoning from ruining your holiday barbecue or picnic. Do your part for safety, then relax and enjoy!

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Reviewed on August 26, 2005

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