Memorial Day barbecues might feel a little more usual than last year as 50% of American adults are fully vaccinated, and United States coronavirus cases drop.
“If you are vaccinated, you’re safe, and you can enjoy your Memorial Day,” said the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, on Wednesday. “If you’re not vaccinated, you remain at risk of infection. Our guidance has not changed for you. You still need to take other precautions and wear masks.”
The federal holiday, which celebrates military personnel who died in service, is seen as the official start to grilling and summer season.
According to a report by Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, 60% of grill owners plan to fire up the grill this week. July 4th is the most famous grilling day, with 70% planning to barbecue.
Handling raw meat can be tricky, and cooking it inadequately can be deadly.
“Cooking food thoroughly and dealing with it correctly is extremely important,” the administrator with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service told CNN International. “The food produced is not sterilized… People want to cook raw food at home. If you make it at home, you should know that there are some risks associated with it.”
When grilling raw meat, there are several steps you can take to avoid getting food poisoning, particularly with E. coli, which can cause bloody diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and dehydration four to five days after exposure- and possibly kidney failure in children in 5 years old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
“Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer fun and warmer weather,” USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, Sandra Eskin, said in a news release. “Follow food safety guidelines like thoroughly cooking your food, washing your hands, and checking food temperature with a thermometer.”