Our summer days in east Tennessee are often packed with fun in the sun. But with our intense summer heat comes a unique set of challenges for our health.

Our team at AFC Hixson wants to talk about a couple common health issues during the summer—food poisoning and dehydration.

Why Is Food Poisoning Common in the Summer?

The short answer? Because we often eat and prepare food outside during the summer months, as we spend more time outdoors. That can leave our food exposed to the heat, which causes it to spoil more quickly.

Food poisoning can range from mild to severe and lead to a full range of uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. But there are steps you can take to make your outdoor dining less of a hazard.

Outdoor Food Safety

  • Wash your hands before touching food.
  • Wash worktops and dishcloths.
  • Keep raw meat separate from cooked meat and other foods.
  • Cool leftovers quickly and store them away.
  • Cook food thoroughly.

How Can I Stay Hydrated in the Heat?

Stayed well-hydrated is important throughout the year, but it becomes a bigger concern during the summer, since it’s hotter outdoors and we sweat more.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to maintain hydration, if you thoughtfully make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids throughout the day.

How to Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of water.
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption outdoors.

Not feeling at your best this summer? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Hixson today!