CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Memorial Day weekend also serves as the unofficial start to the summer season, with millions of Americans celebrating the long weekend outdoors.

Fire safety during your summer kickoff is important, especially when preparing food. Always wash your hands before preparing any food, especially if it is for a party. Properly store raw meats before grilling to prevent bacteria buildup and use a good thermometer to make sure it is cooked properly.

As for the sides, cold dishes like dips, cold salads or cut fruits won’t stay safe on the picnic table all day, store them in a cooler to keep everyone feeling well.