Emergency officials say they get more calls for people experiencing symptoms of food borne illnesses during the summer.
“People are out picnicking, having a bbq and they forget that they have potato salads in the heat. And potato salad contains eggs, mayonnaise and that stuff spoils in the heat.” Regional Vice President for C.A.R.E Ambulance Dennis Poole said.
Many people eat, then go and do some other activity, and later come back for seconds.
But officials say this can be dangerous.
“We jump in the pool have us a little fun in the pool and want to go grab us a bite to eat, we don’t realize it’s been sitting out in 90, 100 degree temperatures...and what do we end up with? Food poisoning” Poole said.
Smokey Joes owner Kevin Hughes is a pro at barbecuing.
And he says there are some things people should always check for.
“The standard holding temperature is 165 degrees or better. And that’s considered well done. We personally cook to a much higher temperature than that for our first cook and hold everything at 165 degrees or better.” Smokey Joe’s owner Kevin Hughes said.
Hughes says getting a good quality thermometer is the first step. With it you can test the temperature of your burgers.
He says if the temperature drops below 165, you have a higher risk of ingesting bacteria.
“If it starts getting below that you are in a real iffy zone for food borne bacteria you’re in the breeding zone for bacteria in that 70 to 140 degree range is really bad.” Hughes said.
For any foods that need to stay cold, the safest bet is to put them back in the refrigerator after you serve them.
However, if you're away from home, make sure you bring a cooler with lots of ice, and store it in the shade.
Cooking your burgers at a higher temperature lowers the bacteria amount in the beef.