There are few things as fun, traditional and American as the good ole backyard barbecue or picnic in the park. On the flipside, there is not much worse than ending the day with food poisoning. Taking the necessary precaution to keep your summer memories from going sour can be as simple as remembering the following things:
Keep raw meat away from fruits and vegetables:
Raw burgers, chicken, pork and sausage items, that aren’t precooked, need to be kept away from items that will not be cooked. This means keeping raw meat away from fruits and vegetables, and using separate cutting boards and utensils.
Cook meat all the way through:
One of the most underused tools of the grill is the meat thermometer. While many “Masters of the Grill” believe they can just tell when a piece of meat is fully cooked, it’s important to remember that hot and cool spots on a grill surface can vary cooking times. Minimizing the number of times you flip meat and checking the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the middle of the meat can give you a juicy, delicious piece of meat that is cooked properly. Steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees and poultry to 165 degrees.
Keep cold foods cold:
Keeping cold food on ice or refrigerated as long as possible will prevent bacteria growth. The United State Food Safety and Inspection Services define the temperature range in which food borne bacteria can grow as the “danger zone.” This zone spans from 39 degrees to 140 degrees. Cold foods should be kept below 39 degrees and hot foods enter the danger zone once their internal temperature drops below 140 degrees.
Keep your cooking and prep surfaces clean, clean, clean:
Taking the extra time to wash your hands, cooking surfaces and utensils will go a long way in preventing the spread of bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands after each time you touch raw meat. Never place cooked food back on the same dish that was used when it was raw.
Following these simple steps will help keep your family cookouts safe, happy and healthy.
Learn how to stay safe this summer with Good For All Pharmacy, 10 Goodall Way Suite 800, E. Waterboro, ME 04030 or visit us online at http://goodforallpharmacy.com