Environmental Health

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  • Phone: 970-328-9813
    Fax: 970-328-8788

    Environmental Health
    P.O. Box 179
    500 Broadway
    Eagle, Colorado 81631-0179 


Summer barbeque safety tips

Contact: Terri Vroman, Environmental Health at 970-328-8755 or environment@eaglecounty.us

There’s nothing better than having friends and family over for a barbeque during our amazing Colorado summers.  Environmental Health offers some simple food safety tips to keep these events as risk-free as possible.

Laura Fawcett, Environmental Health Specialist III suggests, “There is a simple phrase to repeat that will significantly reduce the risk of food borne illness: Keep it hot, keep it cold and wash you hands frequently.” Improper temperature control of food and failure to wash hands frequently are often implicated as causes of food borne illness. Gastroenteritis can take you out of commission for a few days or can be serious for very young or older folks.

Fawcett provided the following food safety tips for a healthy summer barbecue:

  • Buy a metal stem, probe-type thermometer and use it.
  • Thoroughly cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is done, E. coli bacteria are killed completely. Cook chicken to 165 and pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cold food should be kept below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This significantly slows bacteria growth. Food containing meat, milk, eggs, fish or poultry should be discarded if left at room temperature for more than four hours.
  • Use a different cutting board for meat than you use for fruits and vegetables. It is also important to thoroughly rinse fruits and vegetables before cutting into them, even if the package says they are pre-rinsed. This minimzes cross-contamination.
  • Wash hands frequently with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before beginning any food preparation and especially between handling raw meats and fresh fruit or vegetables. Use paper towels instead of dish towels for drying your hands. This keeps bacteria and viruses from being spread between foods and between people.