Memorial Day barbecues may feel a bit more ordinary than last year as U.S. coronavirus cases drop and 50% of American adults are completely vaccinated.
“If you are vaccinated, you’re protected, and you could experience your Memorial Day,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday. “If you’re not vaccinated, our guidance has not modified for you. You continue to be vulnerable to infection. You still need to mask and take different precautions.”
The federal holiday, which commemorates army employees who died in service, is seen as the unofficial start to summer and grilling. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 56% of grill proprietors plan to fire up the grill this weekend. The Fourth of July is the most famous grilling day, with 68% making plans to barbecue.
Dealing with uncooked meat can be tricky, and not cooking it properly may be deadly.
“Cooking meals very well and managing it in a proper manner is seriously important,” Carmen Rottenberg, a former administrator with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, formerly told USA TODAY. “The food produced isn’t always sterile. … People need to cook raw meals and prepare them at home. If you prepare it at home, you must understand there are some dangers related to it.”
When grilling raw meat, there are a couple of steps you may take to keep away from getting food poisoning, especially with E. coli, that may cause dehydration, bloody diarrhoea and stomach cramps three to four days after exposure – and probably kidney failure in children below five years old and in older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
“Memorial Day marks the start of warmer climate and summer fun,” Sandra Eskin, USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, said in a news release. “Don’t allow foodborne infection damage the cookout – follow food safety suggestions like washing your hands, very well cooking your food and checking food temperature with a thermometer.”