Summertime offers so many gorgeous days for picnicking and cookouts. But don't let the heat ruin your outing -- food-borne illnesses are caused by bacteria (such as E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium botulinum, Listeria, Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens), viruses (such as Norwalk virus), parasites and other toxins.
Food-borne illness looks a lot like the flu, and typically includes nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms can range from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to bloody stools.
One of the best ways to avoid food poisoning during the summertime is to be sure food items that contain mayonnaise, milk, eggs, meat, poultry and seafood aren't kept at room temperature for more than an hour or two (one hour max if it's 90 degrees F outside). And remember, meat and eggs aren't the only culprits; raw fruits and vegetables can cause problems if not properly washed and stored. If you're traveling with food, be sure to pack any raw meat separately from ready-to-eat foods to avoid contamination.