Do you find the notion of a cookout delicious? Most people do. Something about smelling meat cooking outside and the whole relaxation aura around a fun outdoor eating event gets many people salivating. But a barbeque can have some potentially unhealthy side effects if you’re not careful
- Food Borne Illnesses – Be really careful about carefully handling raw meat and poultry together. It’s not always easy to do when cooking outside without a sink and cleaning cloths but try using separate plates and utensils for chicken versus beef, etc. Be careful, too, about keeping hot foods hot and keeping cold foods cold. Many people have gotten pretty ill from eating devilled eggs or a potato salad with loads of mayo that sat out in the sun too long. Lots of ice can help keep things chilled but if in doubt, throw it out! Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly, too, otherwise illness could happen for that reason as well. Consider buying a barbeque thermometer tool that lets you test the temperature of meat so that you’re not eating food that looks cooked but isn’t.
- Sun – Don’t forget to apply sunscreen repeatedly if you’re outside for a long time. Every few hours is good but re-apply sooner if you are sweating a lot or if people have been swimming. Don’t ignore the signs of overheating or you could be at risk for heat stroke.
- Drinking – Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated of course but beware of drinking too much alcohol as it can seem to taste better in the hot sun, meaning you drink too much of it and underestimate the effect it can have on you.
- Barbequeing – charring meat too much is a bad thing, too. It can be carcinogenic. Eat leaner meat, don’t char, and use lemon juice and / or olive oil based marinades with plenty of fresh herbs in them to lower the cancer risk of your meat, too. Don’t forget to clean the grill between uses so you’re not consuming old char.