Food Safety tips for a healthy July 4th cookout

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO) — If you have plans for a July 4th picnic or cookout, safety experts are urging you to follow the right steps to ensure safe food prep.

The Palmetto Poison Center at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy urges everyone to observe safety guidelines in preparing, cooking and storing food in outdoor environments. Food poisoning can present itself in different ways, but common symptoms include nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and fever, say experts.

“One of the major issues over the hot summer months concerns improperly stored food,” says clinical pharmacist Jill Michels, director of the Palmetto Poison Center. “As the temperature rises, the risk for bacteria growth increases. Always follow proper storage methods for events both inside and outside.”

The Palmetto Poison Center at the College of Pharmacy is staffed by trained nurses and pharmacists who can provide expert information when any poisoning occurs.

According to the center, they provide services to all 46 counties in South Carolina and receives over 37,000 calls per year for information and advice.

For more information, call the Poison Center’s toll-free number at 1-800-222-1222. You can also log on to http://poison.sc.edu/

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