Cookout Safety This 4th of July

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By News Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (ABC) - Picnics and cookouts are a commonplace around the Fourth of July.

But, you can't forget about food safety in the midst of all the fun and fireworks.

Andrea Rumschlag is a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.
She says *some food items should have a time limit placed on them.

"When the weather is hot you want to make sure that any kinds of food that are outside, maybe it's your cut up fruits or vegetables, your pasta, your potato salad, anything especially of a protein source should only be out, no more than 2 hours. If it's a really hot day, above 90 degrees, that should actually be under an hour before you take it back in to properly cool off to be put back in the refrigerator."

"The same rules are going to apply to your cooked foods. They should be not out at room temperature for longer than two hours. So if you're having a large cook out a large barbecue, planning to make a lot of food it might be a good idea to find out when people are coming to your barbecue so that you can time things. Cook a few things in the beginning, maybe a few things in the middle so you're not cooking everything at one time and you reduce your risk of having food out for too long of a time past the safe zone."

Rumschlag even suggests setting a timer for yourself to make it easier.

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