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The Fun Side of Food Safety

Food safety is a serious matter (just ask your local health inspector). But can food safety be fun? Well, sure, when you compare it to the alternatives: food poisoning and serious food-borne illnesses.

Some food safety tips might seem obvious. But aside from handwashing and practicing safe knife etiquette, there are some helpful tips and tricks that aren’t quite as obvious. Don’t worry, vybe urgent care is here to give you all the details so you can savor your meals in peace and harmony — but most importantly, safely. Let’s dig in.

Toppings are best fresh

Even the purest of minimalists can hardly resist throwing toppings on their burger at a summer barbeque. Who can say no to a slice of melted cheese when the burgers are hot off the grill? But, always be mindful when you’re eating at a backyard party in the hot summer sun — before you go for the slices of cheese, find out how long they’ve been sitting outside. Hopefully whoever is on food duty has been adamant about keeping the toppings fresh and rotating. From mayo and ketchup, to fresh onions and tomatoes, if the toppings seem hot or outdated it’s best to steer clear.

Rather than risk a bellyache or more unpleasant side effects, pick toppings that won’t spoil as swiftly, such as relish, mustard, or pickles — you’ll still wind up with a delicious burger, and save some calories while you’re at it. If your toppings ended up a little over cooked in the sun and your body starts feeling the heat, our team at vybe can help make sure your food poisoning isn’t something more serious.

When food goes down, what’s your move?

We’ve all heard of the “5-second rule”: when food falls on the floor, it’s okay as long as you pick it up right away. But is that really true?

This concept is often surrounded by joking or dares, but it all depends on what type of food has fallen, where it landed, and so forth. Maybe dropping a dry saltine on your freshly cleaned kitchen floor is fine, but what about a slice of bologna on the back porch? Our advice: toss that meat or you may just toss your cookies.

As for summertime outdoor eating, if you lose your corn on the cob on the concrete, please consider it a lost cause. Picture the insects, dog doo, and all the other critters and crud that are outside on the ground. Even one second down is a second too long — you can thank us later. If you happen to catch something serious from a snack that hit the ground, don’t worry: we can help with that.

The dairy-free dilemma

Everyone has felt the child-like excitement when the ice cream truck comes cruising down their street. For our lactose intolerant friends, we know that the ice cream truck’s theme song can feel a little less exciting, and a bit more daunting. Luckily they’ll have ice pops for you, right? Surprise — sherbet isn’t dairy free!

Many people assume that anything not labeled as “ice cream” is dairy-free, until those killer cramps creep up and they’re doubled over. If you’re in the mood for something fruity, pass on the sherbet and stick to the snow cone. It may not be as scrumptious as an ice cream sandwich, but at least you won’t spend the afternoon in agony!

Beware of beers

In the summertime, it’s only natural to enjoy an adult beverage or two while you’re kicking back with your friends on the weekend. But if you’re in charge of the grill or any food prep for the get together, it’s best to hold off on the beer or other alcoholic beverages.

When there’s fire involved, any level of inebriation is a no-no — you need to be focused and fog-free. Plus, alcohol is flammable, and an unintentional spill could have bad results. Once the food is ready and the grill has cooled, crack open a cold one with your crew and enjoy your delicious doings. It will be well worth the wait!

Order your marshmallows medium-rare

 What good is going camping if you can’t gather ‘round an open flame and roast some marshmallows? It’s a tradition that’s far more fun than pitching a tent, but do we really know if turning those pillow-like clouds of sugary splendor into charred black coal is good for us to consume? Just like anything else, moderation is key. Charred or burned food may contain compounds linked to health problems, such as increased levels of toxins like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

Naturally, we don’t want toxins in our system, but a treat here and there isn’t going to put you at great risk. Just be mindful of how many marshmallows you’ve had, and perhaps go for golden brown when you roast. It will still be delicious, no doubt.

Summer may be coming to an end, but food safety is important year-round. If your barbeques, backyard parties, or park picnics don’t go as planned and your tummy starts to feel like it’s headed for disaster you can visit any of our locations — we’re here to help you feel better when you’re in a pinch. Just keep this expert advice in mind and your tummy will thank you!