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Avoid internal fireworks of food poisoning on July 4

Nothing says “America” like burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

Before you get that fire started, you will want to be sure not to send your guests home sick.

Over 80 million of your closest friends and neighbors across the U.S.A. are expected to celebrate our country’s independence around the grill.

Experts said you can put a few safeguards in place before the barbecue to keep your guests from becoming one of the 50 million who get food poisoning throughout the year.

Tailgating with grill

“In warm temperatures, harmful bacteria have a tendency to multiply much quicker than any time of year,” USDA’s Brian Ronholm said.

Food rules of July 4: 

1. Don’t keep food outside in the heat longer than an hour, two hours if you’re indoors.
2. Cool foods should be kept on ice. Remember to put ice on top of food because cold air sinks.
3. Use a meat thermometer to ensure burgers are completely cooked. Color is not a safe indicator. Burgers may turn brown before reaching a safe internal temperature.
4. Poultry should be cooked a bit longer to a temperature of 165.
5. Use one cutting board for raw meat and another for fruits and vegetables to avoid cross contamination.
6. Don’t reheat food that has been sitting out too long.
7. When in doubt, throw it out.