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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July Safety

This post has a double meaning: food safety and fire safety.

 While we all know that July is in the heat (literally) of the summer and is the perfect time for grilling and fireworks, we need to be mindful of two points.

1. Remember to use a food thermometer when you're grilling. Sure, it's hot and you want to get the meat off the grill and onto your plate. But you could be in another kind of rush later on if  you don't make sure that your foods have been cooked to proper temperatures to kill any bacteria that may exist. Here are the proper cooking temps for your 4th of July activities:

      Ground beef/pork/lamb - safe and savory at 160 °F
      Ground turkey/chicken -  165 °F

      Steak - Medium - Rare 145 °F
                  Medium - 155 °F
                  Medium - Well 165 °F
                  Well Done 170 °F - I included this for reference sake, but it hurts to do so!

       Poultry - Chicken & Turkey, Whole 180 °F
                  Breast Meat 170 °F
                  Thighs, Wings & Legs 180 °F
                   **Salmonella is killed at 165 °F

       Pork - roasts, tenderloins and chops - 145 °F  (no higher; nobody likes dry pork)! 

2. Fireworks are awesome. I'm actually a pyromaniac and am one of the first people to buy fireworks on the day the stands open. But we're in a drought now and we all know that fire + dry pastures/hay fields = horrible fast-spreading disaster. If you are in a county with a burn ban in place, consider driving to a neighboring county and watching a sponsored fireworks show. I'm likely going to the Wamego, KS show (it's one of the best in the state). One night of fun shooting off bottle rockets and roman candles isn't worth the devastation of charred fields.

With these safety steps in mind - have a great holiday! And as always, remember the true reason for the season. We are a free country thanks to those who have gone before us and those who continue to fight for our freedoms.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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