(We welcome a
guest contributor this month! Jamie Stein, Dietetic Intern from Bradley
University, helped put together the tips and information for July.)
Keep Your Family Safe from Food-Borne Illness
Keep it Clean:
- Scrub the grill with hot, soapy water if you aren’t cooking in aluminum foil.
your hands--you hear it all the time, but actually do it! Wash them
before cooking and anytime before and after you handle raw meat.
- Remember to pack hand sanitizer if you won’t be around running water.
Thawing and Marinating:
- Always thaw in the refrigerator, microwave, or under cold running water. Never thaw meat on the counter or next to the grill (it needs to stay below 40°).
meat in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. If you want to use
some of the marinade as a sauce later on the cooked meat, keep it
separate, so you aren’t double dipping between raw meat and the food
you’re going to eat.
Keep Raw and Ready-to-Eat Foods Separate
- Cut raw meats on a separate cutting board.
different utensils for the grill (for example, don’t turn raw chicken
on the grill with a fork and then use that fork to serve a piece of
cooked chicken). Wash utensils in hot soapy water after touching raw
- Don’t put the fully-cooked meats back on the plate you brought raw meat out on.
- It may sound like more work, but it’s worth it to not become sick.
Check it’s Done
- Don’t trust the juice color or meat tenderness for doneness. The innermost part of the meat should be:
- Steak: 145°F (Allow to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming)
- Hamburgers: 160°
- Chicken: 165°
a food thermometer! Simple ones can be found at Walmart for less than
$10--there are even models that double as a grilling fork for around
Watch How Long it’s Out:
- Eat or refrigerate cooked and cold foods within 2 hours (1 hour if the weather is over 90°)
you want your party food to be out longer, keep cold foods on ice and
hot foods in an insulated container. Or rotate out different dishes from
the fridge in 1 hour shifts.
- Check the food temperatures every once in awhile (less than 40° or higher than 140° is where it should be).
Use Leftovers in 3-4 Days
Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, FDA
- Store them in shallow containers so they can cool quickly. Label them with the date so you know when to toss.
- Reheat foods to 165° and bring leftover sauces to a boil to know they are safe to eat.