Don't Invite Stomach Bug to Your Grilling Party

There are five seasons in Texas: spring, summer, fall, winter and grilling.

But before you throw your ribs on the grill, doctors have a few tips to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

Dr. Glenn Hardesty of Texas Health Arlington said roughly 20 percent of emergency room visits come from people with serious stomach issues, many of them from problems with poorly handled or uncooked food.

"It's usually vomiting, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, diarrhea," he said.

Hardesty encouraged people to wash their hands and their fruits and veggies before preparing them to eat.

"Not washing your vegetables is just asking for trouble. Or your fruits," Hardesty said. "It'd be a good rule of thumb -- as soon as you get home, put it in a colander and run water over it."

He also urged cooks to use different tools and cutting boards when prepping meats and veggies. Hardesty said some people don't realize the tools can transfer bad bacteria.

"They take their tongs and cook their chicken, and they put their meat, and then they go and use it on the salad. It's important you use separate or clean utensils," Hardesty said.

Finally, Hardesty suggested using different tongs while working the grill for various meats.

"I went to Texas A&M; I'm a meat eater. I have two pairs of tongs when I grill -- one for chicken, one for beef," he said.

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