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Safe food strategies for the Fourth of July

With backyard barbecues on tap this weekend, Newswatch 16 shared tips from a pro on how to keep germs at a minimum.

Heading to a Fourth of July cookout may be tricky this year, with many people worried about the coronavirus.

However, there are ways to keep the germs at bay and still have that backyard bash.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey teamed up with a food safety expert, Clancy Harrison, in Susquehanna County for tips.

Among her backyard BBQ ideas, they include the following: 

  • Keep the group size small.
  • Share the guest list so others can gauge their safety risk.
  • Enjoy the outdoors during the party.
  • Pre-plate all of the food.
  • Keep food out for only one hour. Be specific and let your guests know your timeline.
  • Assign one person to serve all of the food to the guests.
  • Stock each table with everything they need to limit the amount of time guests have to get up and walk around (paper goods, plate fixings for burgers).
  • Provide straws to sip under masks.
  • Make sure all food remains covered.
  • Put all the hotdogs and hamburgers in their buns at the grill.
  • Ask guests to bring pre-bagged cookies or brownies instead of pies and cakes.
  • Ask people to bring their own drinks.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at each table.
  • Provide outdoor trash cans without lids.
  • Keep an eye on common touch surfaces (light switch in the bathroom, doorknobs, soap container, toilet, and sink handles) and sanitize them regularly.

Ban cloth towels and bar soap in the bathroom. Opt for paper towels and bottled soap instead.

View more of Clancy's tips and recipes at this link.

About Clancy Harrison:

Clancy Harrison is a registered dietitian with two decades of experience in nutrition and food insecurity. She served as Food Service Director for Aramark and as the president of Al Beech West Side Food Pantry in Kingston.

She's a mother of two, author, and speaker with TEDx. 

You can watch Clancy's TEDx talk, "The Shocking Truth About Food Insecurity," below: