UNITED STATES -- Fourth of July cookouts are best when salmonella isn't on the menu.
Cases of food poisoning rise during the summer because more people are eating outdoors and harmful bacteria multiply quickly in hot and humid weather.
The USDA says a safe cookout always begins with clean hands, and be sure to use different cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables. Experts recommend investing in a food thermometer to make sure meats are cooked thoroughly. Cutting into meat is not enough to determine whether it is done.
"One in four hamburgers actually looks brown in the middle even though it has not reached its safe internal temperature. And so the only safe way to ensure that you're keeping your family safe and that you are cooking it to the proper temperature is by using a food thermometer," said Carmen Rottenberg of the USDA.
Burgers should reach 160 degrees at their thickest point and chicken should reach at least 165 degrees.