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Food Safety Tips For Grilling

Nothing says summer like the smoky flavor of foods cooked out on the grill. However, it is important to follow these simple precautions to reduce the risk of food-borne illness:
• Clean your grill between each use.
• Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Don’t prepare food for others if you have a diarrheal illness.
• Keep foods refrigerated when marinating. Do not use the sauce you used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food.
• Cook meat and poultry thoroughly. Use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat and poultry. Cook beef steaks and roasts to 145ºF, hamburger and pork to 160ºF, and poultry to 165ºF. If a thermometer is not available, cook meat (especially ground meats) until no pink remains and all juices run clear.
• Avoid cross-contamination by washing hands, utensils and cutting boards after they’ve been in contact with raw meat or poultry, and before they touch other food. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, not on the one that held the raw meat.
• Refrigerate or freeze perishables or leftovers promptly. Don’t keep perishable foods on a serving table for longer than two hours (one hour when the outside temperature is above 90ºF). Bacteria grow quickly at room temperature.
• Pack your cooler with 75 percent food and 25 percent ice or cold packs. A cooler that is packed full stays colder longer than one that is half-full.
For more information, including recommended temperatures for other meats and seafood, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

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