BBQ Safety

With summer approaching many Texomans are breaking out the grill. Being smart while barbecuing is important for you and your family's health.

Practicing safe food handling while cooking is important, especially when out barbecuing. Lisa Attaya, Senior Manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas, said, "We're seeing an increase in food poisoning claims. It's very important that you pay attention to little things when grilling, because it will make a big difference."

Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas sees their numbers go up when residents don't take proper precautions while barbecuing.

"We had over $11,000,000 in claims for last year prior to the previous year was about $8,000,000 in claims." Attaya added, "The actual costs of those claims is going up too. The average cost per claim has gone up $200."

Attaya said health care cost to treat food poisoning has jumped up to $1,500 hundred per claim. That may be a hefty price for some, even with insurance.

"Folks just need to be aware that it's a lot more prevalent and common than you would think." Attaya added, "Actually the Center Of Disease Control says that one in six Americans can contract food-borne illnesses or food poisoning."

Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas created a website that provides medical expert information about key health when it comes to food safety and barbecuing. Residents can educate themselves on food-borne illnesses by clicking here.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6