HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pa. Department of Health sent a message Friday asking Pennsylvanians to continue following healthy eating habits and heat safety during the Fourth of July holiday.

“While enjoying Fourth of July festivities and food, remember to follow grilling and food safety tips,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Since Pennsylvania summer weather can get very hot, it is extremely important to keep perishable foods refrigerated and not sitting out in the heat. Also, remember to properly handle raw meats to prevent foodborne germs, which can lead to food poisoning.”

The CDC is providing tips to practice food safety during the summer months. Recommendations include dividing cooked foods into shallow containers and store them in the refrigerator or freezer to rapidly cool if you are preparing food ahead of time. They also recommend tossing any marinades or sauces that touched raw meat as soon as possible.

The CDC also says to continue using clean plates and utensils when taking cooked meat off the grill.

Continuing to keep food refrigerated and to thaw any frozen foods in the fridge, not on the counter. Thawing food on the counter can help quickly grow bacteria.

Those going out for the Fourth of July holiday should use hand sanitizer and disposable wipes, and to only buy food from licensed vendors.

The Dept. of Health also says to be good neighbors and check on people that may have limited mobility or not have an easy way to escape the heat. Gov. Wolf and his administration sent a reminder on how to prepare for hot temperatures back in June.

Anyone who experiences food-related illnesses can visit their health care providers or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to speak with a public health nurse.