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Summer is a season for outdoor fun, but your carefree attitude might be totally transformed if you happen to eat something at your barbecue or picnic that doesn’t agree with you. Although one of out three people goes to work when they’re sick, a bout of food poisoning can really knock you for a loop. Every year, and estimated due to foodborne illness, roughly 128,000 patients experiencing such severe symptoms that they need to be hospitalized. Shockingly, 3,000 people die due to food poisoning complications each year. So what can you do to keep your family safe? You’ll need to step up your food preparation, handling, and storage techniques. Here are just a few ways you may be able to prevent food poisoning this summer.

Wash Your Tea Towels

You might think that food poisoning prevention starts with the meal you’re preparing, but the environment you use for cooking and storage matters a lot. You’ll need to take care to wipe down surfaces properly, clean out your fridge regularly, and refrain from using the same cutting board for raw meats as you do vegetables. But you might also need to start washing your tea towels a lot more frequently. Although you might not always wash your bath towels after every use (even if they’re Fouta towels, which are crafted from linen or 100% cotton), you should probably be laundering your kitchen towels far more often than you do. According to one recent study, half of all tea towels analyzed were found to be growing dangerous microbes, including Staphylococcus and E. coli. Since tea towels tend to stay moist and come into contact with food particles, they’re the ideal spot for these harmful bacteria to grow and spread. You should aim to wash your tea towels every few days, says one expert, while others recommend you change them out daily to prevent illness.

Don’t Wash Your Raw Meat

You may already know that a contaminated water supply can easily transmit serious diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. But even if your water is perfectly clean, you shouldn’t always use it to wash certain foods. Fruits and vegetables, of course, should be washed before consumption. But contrary to what you might have been taught, raw meat should not be washed before cooking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that you should never rinse raw poultry or meat prior to cooking, as this can cause bacteria to spread to other foods and surfaces. What’s more, the practice doesn’t actually prevent illness. Instead of washing your meat, wash your hands before and after handling it; that’ll do a lot more to keep you and your family healthy.

Cook to a Safe Temperature

Now that it’s time to throw the meat on the grill or in the pan, you’ll need to pay attention to the cooking temperature. It’s not good enough to eyeball the doneness of the meat; you’ll need to use a meat thermometer to make certain it’s safe to consume. Whether your family likes a bloody steak or a burger with no pink at all, you need to reach the safe minimum internal temperature before serving. Ground beef and pork should reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, while steaks, roasts, and chops should be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit and be allowed to rest for three minutes after they’ve been removed from the grill or pan. Whole poultry and breasts should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit and fish needs to reach that 145-degree mark. If you’re cooking meat and veggies together, be sure to separate them so that the meat can be cooked to its proper temperature. Even if it means not every element is done at the same exact time, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t Leave Food Out

Once it’s time to serve the meal, your work isn’t quite done. Perishable ingredients should be kept cold in a cooler or over ice. Food items should not bee left out for more than two hours if the temperature is below 90 degrees Fahrenheit; if temperatures are at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, one hour should be the limit. Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours (or one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees) of being put outside. If you’re ever in doubt, throw away the food right away. Cold foods should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so check your freezer and refrigerator temperatures to ensure you’re actually able to keep stored foods safe.

Pay Attention to Recalls

You might have noticed that the number of food recalls seems to be increasing; whether that’s due to better data or worsening food safety is uncertain, but it pays to pay attention in either scenario. Recently, papayas and hummus have been recalled due to concerns of salmonella and listeria, respectively. While the hummus recall has yet to be associated with any reports of illness, the papaya problems have resulted in hospitalizations. It can be difficult to know what is safe to eat, since these recalls often involve whole produce or prepared products from trusted brands. But staying up-to-date on recalls and steering clear of the foods that are most likely food poisoning culprits can help. Although there are no guarantees that the food you bring home from the grocery store won’t make you sick, making sure to thoroughly clean produce prior to consumption, storing it separately from other foods, exercising caution if you are among a more vulnerable demographic (e.g., young children, senior citizens, pregnant women) can lower your risk of food poisoning. As long as you take the time to clean up your environment, handle and cook foods properly, and serve and store them in a way that promotes healthy habits, your family should be able to minimize exposure to foodborne illness and enjoy all of your upcoming summer events.