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Celebrate the Fourth With Healthy Food

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RALEIGH — If you are packing food for the Fourth, take a few extra steps to make sure that your cookout or picnic goes as planned.

First, pack food in plenty of ice in a well-insulated cooler with enough ice or icepacks to keep the food below 40 degrees.

Pack the cooler in the back seat of your air-conditioned car or SUV, not in your hot trunk.

It may save time, but never partially grill meat or chicken and finish it at the picnic site. This can make your food a breeding ground for bacteria.

Remove food from the cooler as needed; do not let food sit out in hot sun for over an hour.

Take along a meat thermometer. Burgers need to reach at least 160 degrees; 170 for chicken breasts.

Do not forget to use clean plates for cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.

Lynn always carries around moist towelettes to clean hands often. Antibacterial hand sanitizer also works.

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Ken Bodine, Photographer
Andrea Moody, Producer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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