Make sure you enjoy your summer parties this year, but don’t fall victim to any of the many warm weather, outdoor party hazards: Bacteria-infested food, sunstroke, and mosquito bites are all unwanted guests who show up to every summer cookout.
Biting and Stinging Insects
The warm weather brings with it hordes of insects. From mosquitoes to wasps, the biting, stinging insects will invite themselves to every summer party. To help keep them away from you, don’t wear bright colors, don’t serve food on bright dishes, and don’t decorate with bright colors: Bugs are attracted to pretty colors, so use them as little as possible. Secondly, don’t leave any sugar-rich food out in the open — keep food and drinks covered as much as possible. Finally, make sure there’s plenty of insect repellent around for guests to use: It’s best to reapply it multiple times throughout the day.
Burning Hot Grill
Cooking burgers, corn, steak, and vegetable kabobs on the grill is the recipe for the tastiest summer party. But make sure you’re careful when using that hot grill. Use tongs and your favorite grilling tools — don’t be tempted to pick things up with your fingers, you’ll burn yourself. Even after the cooking is done, make sure an adult is standing guard over the grill to prevent any kids from hurting themselves on it.
If you lay all your dishes out on the table before your guests arrive, and then let them sit there all afternoon, you’re at risk of poisoning your friends. Food should not be left out in the sunshine for any more than two hours, otherwise it could develop illness-inducing bacteria. Keep chilled food chilled, hot food hot, and make sure nothing sits out for too long.
Sunburn and Sunstroke
When you’re outside enjoying good food, delicious drinks, and the company of your closest friends, it can be easy to forget that you’ve been standing in the sun for hours without wearing any sunscreen. You will definitely be a victim of sunburn or sunstroke this summer if you don’t wear sunscreen, so make sure to put some on before your guests arrive, and reapply it multiple times throughout the day.
Those chicken breasts may have perfect charred grill marks on the outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s cooked on the inside. To make sure your meat is cooked through, and to avoid poisoning anyone, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the center of the meat: This will tell you whether it’s ready to be eaten, or whether it needs to stay on the grill for a few more minutes.