I hope you are all having a Happy Memorial Day. If your plans today including cooking out, be sure to do it safely. While foodborne illness seems harmless or just inconvenient, it is common and can be life-threatening. Food poisoning strikes 48 million people each year, 128,000 of those people end up in the hospital, and nearly 3,000 die.
How can you keep you and your family safe today? Here are a few tips to keep your celebration on track.
I can’t say it enough; hand washing goes a long way! Be sure to wash with soap and water for about 20 seconds before handling food. If you switch foods, wash your hands again. And wash your hands after handling food as well
Double check the temperature of your refrigerator. Keep it at 40°F or below. However, remember that it may sneak up during the day if you’re opening and closing the door a lot!
Keep raw meat on the bottom shelf, on a covered plate or in a covered container.
If you're starting with frozen hamburgers or chicken, defrost them completely before cooking. Remember, defrosting on the counter is NOT safe.
Don’t remove raw foods from the refrigerator until it’s time to put them on the grill. Use separate plates for raw and cooked foods.
Cook meat until it is no longer pink and juices around it are clear. Use a food thermometer to be sure. Cook hamburgers to 160 °F and chicken to 165 °F. If you don’t have a food thermometer, stop reading and buy one now.
If you’re cooking on charcoal, be sure to preheat for about 30 minutes to ensure the coals are hot enough before you start cooking.
Also, wash your hands again.
"Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it." - - Unknown