Health officials in Illinois offer picnic safety tips

CHICAGO - Health officials in Illinois have some safety tips when it comes to food for those planning to picnic this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Officials say that temperature is the key to avoiding food borne illness, so keep hot food hot and cold food cold.  Remember to refrigerate your leftovers, and if there's any doubt about the freshness of the food, throw it out.

You are also reminded to wash your hands and keep surfaces clean, make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked, and use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off the grill.

Symptoms of food poisoning can begin anywhere from 30 minutes to three or more days after eating tainted food.  If symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, you are advised to contact a doctor or health care provider.

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