This Fourth of July is going to be extra hot. Many of us will be grilling and eating outdoors with family and friends. However, this heat can cause havoc on your stomach if you don't take proper care when preparing your food.
The "danger zone" is when food temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below 140 degrees.
Nutritionists say you don't want food temps to be in that danger zone, more than two hours.
In this excessive heat it's recommended bumping that time down to an hour or an hour and a half.
Don't leave perishable items sitting out, like burgers, potato salad and chicken salad, which contain raw eggs.
It's the danger zone that can turn your Fourth of July celebration, into a trip to the hospital.
"Some food poisoning can be very dangerous, some people get so dehydrated they can end up in the hospital, some end up dying, you can have very serious side effects," Dr. Beth Kitchin, a UAB nutritionist said. "Ecoli can cause your kidneys to shut down and so you can have some serious, rare, but serious side effects from food poisoning, so we have to take food safety seriously."
Dr. Kitchin says also to re-heat burgers and meats if they've been sitting out past that two hour mark and keep a cooler handy for uncooked items and other perishable foods.
For more information regarding food safety, click here.