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Avoiding food poisoning this summer

While having fun on the holiday weekend, its good to remember

COLUMBIA, S.C. — According to studies, Americans will down 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July weekend. 

Along with the hot temperatures we have been experiencing, its important to also think about our health. 

We spoke with Dr. Jill Michels at the Palmetto Poison Center, housed in the USC School of Pharmacy. "The temperatures get hotter and if we don't store our food properly we can have bacterial growth and that can lead to illness when people eat the food." 

Dr. Michels fields calls all day from people around the state having issues with all types of poison issues, from medication errors to snake bites.

She spoke with us today about food procedures we need to be advised of in order to avoid food poisoning, especially with the holiday weekend. 

"You know we cook something and we're all grazing but there's a limit to how long we can keep our food out," Dr. Michels says "we want it out on the counter in the house no more than two hours and for outside, if its above 90 degrees, only one hour before it goes back in the refrigerator."

Dr. Michaels says some cases of food poisoning may need medical attention. If you do get it, make sure to stay hydrated. If symptoms last longer than 48 hours, its probably time to see your doctor. 

Here are five quick tips from Dr. Michaels to stay food safe this summer:

1.    Make sure you use a meat thermometer

2.    Keep it as cool as possible

3.    Keep your raw meat separate from your other prepared foods

4.    Once food is out you can put ice underneath it to keep it cold

5.    Keep a timer going, check that time, again if its more than two hours, one our if its above 90 degree- put it back in the cooler, back in the fridge so it stays safe for you to eat.