Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

by Tonya Solis-Mosby, volunteer contributor

Viva la season for outdoor fun!  It’s not yet summer according to the calendar, but the season for outdoor fun kicks off each year for many people with Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is celebrated with Mexican flair!  Some celebrations include mariachi and dance.  But all Cinco de Mayo celebrations include food associated with Mexico.  It might be interesting to note, however, that this holiday, which celebrates Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War, is not widely celebrated in Mexico.  In fact, it is believed to be celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico.  It is often confused with Mexican Independence Day which is actually in September.

For many people Cinco de Mayo is the first celebration that falls outside of winter’s embrace.  The warmer temperatures bring people outside for picnics and swimming.  During outside celebrations, it is important to pay attention to a variety of safety tips.

According to grilling safety tips by the American Red Cross, it’s important to grill in an open outdoor area; use clean long-handled tools; and never leave the grill unattended.  It is also important for cooks, to wash their hands in warm, soapy water after touching raw meat and after using the restroom or touching pets.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, perishable foods should be kept in coolers on ice to maintain freshness.  Once food is taken off ice, it should not sit out for more than 2 hours.

If the outdoor celebration includes swimming, some important Red Cross safety tips, include swimming only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards; never swimming alone and avoiding drinking alcoholic beverages.

Injuries are always possible, so for handy information on what to do in case of injury download the American Red Cross Emergency app.

Cinco de Mayo and all of the spring and summer celebrations can be wonderful with a little care and attention.

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