Specialist's tips to avoid food poisoning pitfalls

Summer months increase chances of getting sick, especially if eating outside

By Lindsey Elliott, Kansas State news production specialist; Nicole Lora, News4Jax intern
Headline Goes Here

The Fairways Forest patriotic parade concluded with a community picnic on Friday.

Planning on enjoying a picnic or barbecue this weekend? Be extra careful because the likelihood of getting food poisoning is higher during the summer, especially if you are eating outside.

A food safety specialist from Kansas State University said it's easy to avoid getting sick if you pay attention to the details.

Separating your drinks and your food in different coolers can help eliminate bacteria contamination.

You're also more likely to get into your drink cooler, and you won't want your food temperature to change too often.

Other tips include keeping meat and other foods separate, washing your fruit and vegetables before cutting into them, and bringing extra utensils for both your meat and produce to avoid cross contamination.

While traveling, make sure to keep coolers in the passenger seat instead of the hot trunk.

Londa Nwadike, a Kansas State University food safety specialist, said that cleaning fruits and veggies can be very beneficial to avoid getting sick.

"It's a really good idea to use a brush," said Nwadike, "like a nail brush or produce brush to make sure you are really getting it as clean as possible."

Some people may think that the bacteria on the outside of fruits like cantaloupe are no big deal, but when the knife cuts into the rind, it transfers bacteria to the fruit inside.

Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.