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Friday, May 27, 2016

Don't Invite Food Borne Illness to Your BBQ

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and it heralds the start of a new season.... grilling season, of course!

Burgers, chops, brats, steaks and chicken will all be making headline appearances at your backyard bbq festivities this weekend and throughout the summer, but don't let tag along bacteria play a supporting role and ruin your get together. Food poisoning is a traumatic thing to endure (speaking from personal experience) and there are several steps you can follow while preparing your food that will keep it safe and delicious!

Image courtesy Colorado State

Here are five tips to keep your backyard bbq safe from food borne pathogens:
  1. Keep meat and other refrigerated products at proper temperatures when not cooking. That means keeping them OUT of the DANGER ZONE by storing cold foods below 40F.
  2. Cook all meats to the proper internal temperature and use a food thermometer!
    • Ground meats - 160 F
    • Whole muscle beef, pork, lamb cuts (steaks, chops) - 145 F
    • Poultry - 165 F
    • Egg dishes - 160 F
  3. Use separate utensils and cutting boards for cooked meat and raw meat. And don't share utensils between fresh/raw produce and raw meats without washing with hot soapy water.
  4. Bacteria can easily be reintroduced to food after it is cooked. To store leftovers, put them in a shallow container for quick cooling and then into a fridge at 40F or lower.
  5. Still hungry? Grab the leftovers but make sure you heat them to 165 F before chowing down!
You can learn more about food safety and food-borne illness prevention by visiting the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website.

Have a safe and happy weekend,

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