The temperature is rising and the nights are long, making now the perfect time to take the cooking outside! This month we celebrate National Grilling Monthwith great recipes and quality family time. There is nothing like grilled food on a warm summer night, whether you’re enjoying it on your deck or a local park!
Although this is a time for fun, it’s important to not let your guard down when it comes to food and grill safety!
6 Tips to Keeping Food Safe
- Before and after handling food, was your hands in clean water with soap for at least 20 seconds. If you are at a location that has no access to clean water, bring water and soap with you or use disposable wipes.
- Chopping boards, plates and utensils should be washed after coming in contact with raw foods. They should be washed in hot, soapy water and dried before reuse.
- Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat and fish in a container or plastic bag separate from the other foods. When storing raw meat and poultry in the refrigerator, it should always be stored on a shelf below other groceries to reduce the risk of dripping juices contaminating other foods.
- When you are ready to cook, do not use the same plate or utensils for cooked foods that you had used for raw foods. This is another way that cooked foods can become contaminated.
- Never marinate food on the counter. Marinated food should always be stored in the refrigerator. If you plan to use some of the marinade on the cooked food, put some aside before placing the raw meat in it. If you forgot to separate marinade to be used later, you can safely use it after it has been brought to a boil.
- Food should never be left out for longer than two hours. However in temperatures above 90 degrees that number drops to one hour!
Proper Food Temperatures
While you may feel you can tell when a food is done just by looking at it, it’s safer to use a food thermometer. By checking the temperature of the food, you can be certain it is cooked thoroughly and safe to consume. The proper thermometer technique and temperatures you should aim for are as follows:
- Thermometers should be cleaned in hot, soapy water between uses.
- Place thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. For thinner cuts, insert the thermometer on the side.
- For an accurate reading, wait at least 15 seconds for the thermometer to register.
- Beef, seafood, pork, lamb, and veal should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 °F.
- Ground meats, and injected meats should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 °F.
- Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 °F.
Keeping your food safe, keeps you healthy and creates an enjoyable grilling expereince.
Your Turn to Take Action:What are you going to grill up with your family this July? Let me know in the comments below!