Healthy Tips for this Memorial Day Weekend

Healthy Tips for this Memorial Day Weekend
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Memorial Day is a day meant to remember all those who have served in our country’s armed forces. While many will be visiting memorials and thinking of loved ones, they will also be celebrating the unofficial start to summer. This includes outdoor picnics, trips to the beach and, of course, a BBQ. In honor of this Memorial Day weekend, the USDA has released some ‘Summer Food Safety Tips’ to get you through this weekend, keeping you safe and aware.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to remind everyone taking part in Memorial Day activities to take extra care not to let foodborne bacteria ruin your celebration. Foodborne bacteria grows rapidly in hot weather and can cause flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fever ( Agriculture Secretary Vilsack explains, “This Memorial Day weekend and all summer long, I encourage families to get outside and enjoy our natural resources, national parks and forests, and the variety of food America’s farmers are able to provide. It’s important to remember that bacteria grows faster in the same warm temperatures that people enjoy, so extra care needs to be taken to prevent food poisoning when preparing meals away from home. USDA reminds everyone to use a food thermometer.”

The USDA recommends you to:

  • Use an insulated cooler with ice or frozen gel packs to keep cold food as close to its original temperature as possible
  • Raw meat, poultry, seafood, deli and lunch meats, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables and dairy products must be kept cold
  • A full camping cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. But be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight
  • Do not continuously open the cooler so your food will stay cooler for longer
  • When cooking on the grill, use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat, vegetables and bread
  • Keep perishable food cold until you are ready to cook it
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly
  • Never reused items that touched raw meat or poultry
  • When serving food outdoors, make sure your perishable foods do not sit out for more than 2 hours
  • Serve cold food in small portions and keep the rest in a cooler
  • After cooking your meat and poultry, keep it hot until serves by setting it on a grill rack


What do you do to celebrate Memorial Day? What are some of your favorite foods to cook/BBQ/prepare for the weekend celebrations?


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