NATIONAL GRILLING MONTH
Summer is the time for the best outdoor cooking, so it is no surprise July is National Grilling Month.
Don’t let improperly prepared food ruin your summer. Use these grilling tips keep you grilling and enjoying the beautiful weather all season long.
- Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer when clean water isn’t readily available where you are grilling.
- Keep food cold until you are ready to put them on the grill. Letting them sit allows bacteria to grow.
- Don’t mix raw and cooked foods. Keep raw foods separate from each other. Once cooked, use a clean dish to place final masterpiece. The bacteria from the raw food will contaminate the freshly cooked meal.
- Keep hot food warm to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until ready to be placed in a cooler with ice or refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth. For salads and cold foods, keep them chilled on ice.
July is National Grilling Month: 4 Tips for Grilling Safely
After all, food poisoning leads to an astounding 300,000 hospitalizations and around 5,000 deaths each year, many in the summer months where the increased temperatures allow bacteria to grow at faster rates, increasing the chance of getting ill.
So take the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t become one of those statistics. Here are five barbeque basics that can help reduce your risk of getting a foodborne illness.
1. WASH YOUR HANDS
Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling any food to ensure your mittens are germ free and to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. By following this one rule you can dramatically reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
Don’t have a source of clean water available where you’re eating? Bring along some hand sanitizer or wipes. It’s just that simple.
2. KEEP IT COOL
Don’t take out food that needs to be refrigerated only to sit for an hour after you’re done prepping other items. Keep perishable foods in the refrigerator until the very minute you need to use them. By doing so, you’ll keep bacteria growth at bay and prevent potential illness.
3. RAW AND COOKED FOODS DON’T MIX
At a family picnic or pool-side grilling party it’s all about being together with those you care about. But two things that should ALWAYS be separated are raw and cooked foods. Cross-contamination is a big culprit in foodborne illness so be sure to keep raw foods away from cooked and prepared food sources.
Do this by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood in separate containers and by using separate cooking utensils for raw and prepared foods. Also, avoid serving foods on plates or dishes that had raw food on it at any time. Instead, have a separate clean plate and utensils for foods that are ready to be served.
4. KEEP TEMPERATURES IN CHECK
While you can’t control those hot summer temperatures, one climate you can control is the climate that you’re food is contained in. As a general rule, remember to keep cold foods below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and hot foods above 140 degrees Fahrenheit until served.
To ensure these temperatures are met be sure to use a thermometer, have plenty of ice and a cooler to place cold items in as well as aluminum foil wraps and insulated containers for warm foods.