ENJOY A HEALTHY AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY
DOVER – As American flags fly in preparation of the Fourth of July holiday, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds Delawareans to celebrate healthily, without injuries or foodborne illness.
Serve healthy foods and beverages. Include more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugary beverages on the buffet table. With Delaware’s obesity rate doubling in the past 20 years, it is important to serve meals that are low in empty calories and heart healthy. The DE HEAL website, at www.deheal.org, features a section about sugary beverages. Or browse recipes on the American Heart Association’s website, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyCooking/Simple-Cooking-with-Heart-Home-Page_UCM_430043_SubHomePage.jsp.
Use sunscreen. To protect skin from sunburn now and skin cancer later, wear SPF 15 or higher sunscreen that contains both UVA and UVB protection. Visit ProtectYourSkinDE.com, a DPH website filled with colorful, informative posts. The site includes a directory of dermatologists in Delaware. Follow these additional skin cancer prevention tips:
• Stay in the shade, especially during mid-day hours.
• Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
• Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
• Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
• Avoid indoor tanning.
• Wear lip balm and makeup products that have an SPF of 15 or higher.
Avoid injuries. Leave fireworks displays to the experts. In Delaware, it is illegal to possess or discharge fireworks, and only permitted companies can hold fireworks displays.
Protect pets. It is best to leave pets at home, where they are safe and sound, instead of including them in Fourth of July celebrations. Loud fireworks displays can terrify pets, causing them to run, putting them at risk of being hit by a car or becoming lost. Exposure to lit fireworks and firework fumes can also be hazardous to man’s best friend.
Use common sense when grilling. Only use gas or charcoal grills outdoors, never in a garage, or on a porch or balcony. Charcoal and gas grills produce carbon monoxide, a fatal odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas. When using charcoal grills, only use a small amount of charcoal starter fuel, never add fuel once the fire starts, and wet ashes with water before emptying the grill. For gas grills, cylinders should be stored outside in a shaded, cool area out of direct sunlight and transported on the floor of vehicles ─ not the trunk ─ in an upright position with all windows open. Check connections with soapy water and tighten leaking connections if bubbles form.
Prevent foodborne illness. No one likes to get sick at a cook-out! Before preparing the meal, wash hands with soap and warm water. Thoroughly clean sinks, cutting boards, and utensils, and then sanitize them with a mixture of one teaspoon bleach to one gallon of water. Follow these additional food safety tips:
• Defrost and marinate meat and poultry in the refrigerator.
• If marinade is to be used on cooked food, reserve some marinade before putting raw foods in it.
• When transporting food, use an insulated cooler with ice or ice packs to keep food at 40F or below.
• Refrigerate food and poultry until use.
• Use separate platters for meat and poultry, and use different platters and utensils for raw and cooked items.
• Keep track of how long foods have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything two hours or older.
• Refrigerate leftovers promptly in shallow containers.
• When cooking, have beef and poultry reach these safe minimum internal temperatures:
o Whole poultry, poultry breasts, and ground poultry – 165F.
o Hamburgers, beef, and all cuts of pork – 160F.
o Beef, veal, lamb (roasts, steaks, and chops) – 145F, medium rare.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Delaware Health and Social Services – Division of Public Health