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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For some folks, the Fourth of July means a backyard cook out or a picnic at the beach or in a park.

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But if they are not careful, their holiday barbecue could turn into a recipe for disaster.

The state’s health department is urging everyone to use safe food handling and storage practices to prevent food poisoning.

First off, make sure your cooking area is clean: wash your hands, cutting boards utensils and countertops. Always keep raw meat, poultry and seafood away from ready-to-eat foods.

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If perishable food has been left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours, get rid of it.

Florida’s heat poses special challenges for food safety. In weather above 90°F, food should not be left out for more than one hour.

When taking food from one location, like your home, to another, like the beach or park, pack food directly from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before you leave. Keep meat and poultry refrigerated or in the cooler until you’re ready for it. Only remove meat and poultry immediately before being placed on the grill and never partially grill meat or poultry to finish cooking later.

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Each year, one in six Americans gets sick from preventable illnesses related to food poisoning.