Officials: Fireworks pose a big poisoning risk during July Fourth
July 03, 2019 07:15 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — That quintessential Independence Day cookout is a tradition for so many but once you take the food out of the fridge, or off the grill – there's a ticking countdown.
That's according to Dr. Susan Smolinske, director of the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center.
“About a two-hour window, so at the end of two hours that food should be packed away into the refrigerator,” said Smolinske.
If not, there is a risk for potentially serious food poisoning thanks to bacteria and other pathogens in the food.
Smolinske says if there is uncertainty about how long the food has been out – don't risk it!
“When in doubt, throw it out. So if you even have to think to ask that question, just throw it out that way you don't have to worry about it, nobody is going to get sick,” said Smolinske.
During the Fourth of July holiday, there's an even bigger poisoning risk.
“We actually get more calls at the poison center regarding firework exposures than we do food poisoning,” said Smolinske.
Smolinske says that risk is greatest when spent fireworks are left lying around.
“During that time your kids could find it, they do exploratory behavior, they put that fire cracker in their mouth. That powder is actually quite toxic,” said Smolinske.
Pets are at risk too.
Fortunately for New Mexico, operators are standing by 24/7 in the poison control call center and they can answer your human and animal-related calls.
“For something where you're not sure whether you should call or not, there actually is an app for your telephone called webpoisoncontrol – all one word,” said Smolinske.
For more information about poison control, click here.
Updated: July 03, 2019 07:15 PM
Created: July 03, 2019 03:52 PM
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