S.C. Department of Health and Environmental wishes everyone a happy and healthy 4th of July. Here are a few tips to keep the festivities fun.
Packing the perfect cooler
- Everyone gets thirsty on hot days. Use a separate cooler for drinks so the one containing food isn’t opened as much and can keep food at the perfect temperature.
- When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.
- Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in.
- Pack raw meats, poultry, or seafood on the bottom of the cooler and wrap them in plastic. This will reduce the risk of bacteria from raw juices dripping on other foods.
- Pack coolers until they are full. A full cooler will stay cold longer than one that is partially full.
- Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below.
- Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.
- Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.
Travel like a backyard bbq pro
- When transporting food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth.
- Put the cooler in an air-conditioned car not a hot trunk.
- Bring extra plates, grilling utensils and napkins and use different platters and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.
- Keep raw meats seperate from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash hands, work area, and all utensils before, during, and after preparing food.
- If you’re eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.
- Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).
Firework Safety Tips
- Leave it to the professionals. There are many great displays across state, so just sit back and enjoy the oohs and ahhs.
- Adults only. Never let children play with fireworks. Even sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young children, burn at very high temperatures.
- Take a seat. If you’re setting of fireworks, don’t allow running or horseplay while lighting them.Be sure other people are standing at a safe range before lighting fireworks.
- Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area on a flat, solid surface so that fireworks don’t tip over or shoot into areas where there are houses, dry leaves, grass and other flammable materials.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting. Don’t look over/into a “dud.”
- Keep a bucket of water nearby.
- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.Check instructions for special storage directions.
- Keep our beaches and neighborhoods clean. Fireworks produce debris and litter. Be sure to clean up your litter by the next morning and dispose of it in a trash can.