Social Distancing Summer BBQ: Tips and Tricks
Fire up the grill and put your apron on, because it’s barbeque season! Even though summer is taking a slightly different tone this year, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and any day that ends in “Y” are all ripe and ready for dining al fresco – at home with your family or six-feet-apart with friends. There are a few things to keep in mind, especially when it comes to feeding children or adults with food allergies.
- Provide labels or markers to write names on cups to prevent mix-ups.
- Ask your guests ahead of time how you can best help them have a safe and enjoyable time.
- If there will be allergens present, be sure to clearly label those dishes.
- Clean your grill thoroughly and provide foil to wrap food to help prevent cross contact.
- Barbeque sauce is a typical unexpected source of many allergens. If you are cooking for a guest with food allergies, you could try making this recipe that is free of the top eight allergens.
- Wipe down tables, chairs, toys, and cooking surfaces to remove traces of food – and have extra wipes available for others to use when needed!
- Be sure to talk to everyone in attendance, especially children with food allergies, about not sharing food before the get-together starts.
- Clearly label water bottles or cups with everyone’s names; teach children which ones are theirs.
- Double-check the product labels on insect sprays and sunscreens; some contain food allergens.
- Consider asking everyone to provide their own meals/food – this covers cross-contact from a food allergy standpoint as well as just in case.
- Keep epinephrine auto-injectors at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and extreme heat (do not refrigerate or store in the car). If necessary, you can store epinephrine in a cooler.
- Keep tabs on how many alcoholic beverages you drink, as alcohol consumption may lower your ability to recognize an allergic reaction, give medications, and summon help. It also may lower inhibitions when it comes to social distancing!
- When in doubt, eat a quick meal before you go. The fun in going to a cookout is really in enjoying your friends and the summer season!
For more tips on how to safely prepare food and eliminate cross-contact risks, click here.