WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Department of Health has released outdoor summer safety tips ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
“Follow our food safety tips, use insect repellents and sunscreen and stay hydrated, so that this weekend’s celebrations can be the start of a healthy season of outdoor enjoyment,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler. “It’s also a good idea to remove items from your yard that could hold standing water to avoid breeding your own mosquitoes.”
Here are the Health Department's suggestions::
- Thaw meat and poultry slowly under cold running water or in the refrigerator before cooking.
- Transport food in an ice-filled cooler. Keep it out of direct sunlight and avoid opening the lid too often to keep the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Keep beverages in a separate cooler from food.
- Cook ground beef to 160 degrees, pork to 150 and to 165 for chicken. Hot dogs should be cooked until at least 165 degrees. Use a food thermometer.
- Cold foods should be kept cold, and hot foods should remain hot. Food left out for more than two hours after cooking should be discarded, or one hour if the temperature outside is at least 90.
- Avoid cross-contamination by not reusing marinades and using the same plate, cutting board and utensils for cooked food that were used with raw meat.
- Wash hands, surfaces and utensils frequently.
- Take breaks from the sun and drink water and uncaffeinated beverages every hour to avoid heat exhaustion. In the event of heat exhaustion, move out of the sun and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin. Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and exposed skin to avoid mosquito bites.
- Remove tires, lids and buckets that can hold standing water to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Collect and dispose of food and litter to avoid attracting animals.
- Perform tick checks on people and pets. Visit www.westchestergov.com/health for information on removing ticks.