Outdoor Grilling – Think Safety!linnettegoard | April 16, 2012
- CLEAN – Wash hands and surfaces often.
- SEPARATE – Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat and poultry apart from cooked foods.
- COOK – Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked.
- CHILL – Refrigerate or freeze promptly.
One of the most common mistakes people make is serving cooked food on the same plate that was used to take the raw meat or poultry from the kitchen to the grill. Don’t make that mistake! Be safe by using separate plates, one for raw foods and one for cooked foods. The same it true for utensils. Use one set of kitchen tongs to place raw food on the grill and another to take it off once the food is cooked. Or, take the time to wash the utensil in warm, soapy water before using it a second time.
Use a food thermometer. Studies show that the color of cooked poultry and hamburgers is not a reliable way to determine if foods have been thoroughly cooked to kill bacteria. The only way to be sure food is safely cooked is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature. All poultry products should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F.
And, finally be safe with leftovers. Put leftovers away soon after you eat. Don’t leave food in the “Danger Zone” (40 degrees F. to 140 degrees F.) for more than 2 hours. The “Danger Zone” is where bacteria can grow and multiply rapidly. Food that is left sitting on the table for several hours should not be eaten. This food should be thrown away.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Is it Done Yet campaign. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/is_it_done_yet/
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension