Gearing up for the big game? Whether you are watching with your family or having a party with friends, don’t invite food poisoning to the watch party! Also take steps to keep you and your guests safe around alcoholic beverages and cannabis edibles. Follow these tips to have an enjoyable, and poison-safe, day for the big game.
Food Safety Tips
- Clean hands, cutting boards, and utensils – Before cooking and after touching raw meat, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Keep raw meats separate from any other food on different cutting boards and use separate utensils for each.
- Cook to temperature – All food should be cooked to its safe temperature. Different types of meat require different safe temperatures. Visit the Food Safety site for safe internal temperature guide.
- Keeping at room temperature – Food can be kept at room temperature for two hours after being cooked. After two hours, the risk of bacteria growing increases, and that’s what causes food poisoning.
- Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot – In order to limit the amount of bacteria and other germs on food, follow this simple rule. Keep cold foods cold using an ice bath underneath the dish. Keep hot foods hot using a crock pot, warming plate, or chafing dish.
- Leftovers – If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days. After that, they should be thrown away. Leftovers can be kept in the freezer as well.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
Most cases of food poisoning only last a few days. Symptoms include:
- Upset stomach
Contact your health care provider if you have severe symptoms, such as a fever over 102°F, diarrhea for more than three days, or dehydration.
Keep an eye on alcoholic beverages. Children may easily mistake alcoholic beverages for juice or other drinks, especially if they are in plastic cups. If children will be around, take extra care to watch those beverages. If possible, place them up high where children are unable to reach. Place regular drinks and alcoholic drinks in separate coolers.
If cannabis edibles, or any other THC product, will be a part of your party, remember a few safety tips:
- Keep products in their original labeled container or packaging.
- Store products up, away, and out of sight when not in use.
- Do not use products in front of children. They can easily mistake edibles for regular treats and snacks and help themselves.
- Always read the label before using a product.
Edible products can be easily mistaken as regular food, candy, and drinks. If the wrong person uses a product, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 to discuss the symptoms and what to look for.
If someone brings an edible cannabis product to share, it is very important that the product is clearly labeled and kept away from regular food and drinks. This will help avoid any accidental mix-ups between products. And as always, keep an eye on these products if children will be around.
As always, the pharmacists and nurses at the Maryland Poison Center are available 24/7. You can reach poison specialists 24/7/365 at 1-800-222-1222. Calling is free and confidential.