Although the weather in many areas may have already felt like summer for some time, the calendar hadn’t caught up until now! Thursday, June 21 marks the first day of summer this year in the Northern Hemisphere, which makes now the perfect time for a refresher on how to #BeFoodSafe when grilling this summer!
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before cooking or eating – and definitely after using the bathroom!
- Clean the grill before preparing your food.
- Keep raw food apart from cooked food.
- Use separate plates or containers for raw meat, poultry or seafood when moving food to the grill.
- Use different containers once these products have been cooked, unless the previous containers were washed thoroughly in soap and water.
- Don’t reuse marinade containing raw meat.
- Keep cooking utensils and cooking surfaces clean from potential cross-contamination.
- There are no shortcuts when it comes to thoroughly cooking meat! Use a food thermometer to ensure it’s ready to eat.
- You can use your microwave, oven or stove to precook the food immediately before placing it on the grill.
- When marinating food, cover it and keep it in a refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
- Never leave food off the grill or out of the cooler for more than two hours.
- Keep hot food wrapped in an insulated container and at or above 140℉.
- Keep cold foods at or below 40℉. You may need to store some foods on ice in coolers in warm weather; remember to drain coolers and replace the ice when it melts!
- Don’t leave it out for more than an hour when the outside temperature is higher than 90℉!
Check out the USDA’s Basics for Food Handling Safety more information about how to “Be Food Safe,” including proper cooking temperatures and cold storage guidelines.
Also, we’d love to hear from you – what do you think? If you have any grilling tips, whether they’re for food safety or making a great dish even better, please share them with us in the comments below!