Summer is here, and you’re probably going to have your own BBQ party, or (at least) you’re going to eat a lot of grilled meat and chicken with your family and friends. However, when temperatures rise, your risk of getting food poisoning also rises… because bacteria thrive in a warm, moist environment. To make sure you won’t be the next victim of foodborne illness, follow these 7 simple tips:
- When you’re shopping, make sure fresh meat is the last item that’ll go into your shopping cart. Separate raw meat from the other items you’re buying, and choose meat packages that aren’t torn (as these may be contaminated).
- Never use the same utensils, dishes, cutting boards, and other cooking equipment when handling raw and cooked meat. Raw meat juices can spread harmful bacteria to your grilled meat and cause a severe case of food poisoning (this is called cross-contamination).
- If you’re going to marinate your foods, don’t do it over the counter or outdoors. Instead, marinate your foods in your refrigerator. Also, if you want to reuse marinade, you’ve got to boil it to 165 ° F to destroy all the bacteria from the raw meat.
- Never leave perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. If the temperature reaches 90° F (or more), then your food will spoil after just 1 hour.
- Wash your hands and wrists thoroughly (with warm water and antibacterial soap) for at least 20 seconds before, during, and after handling meat or poultry. After that, dry your hands to remove any remaining bacteria.
- Completely thaw meat and poultry, but don’t do it at room temperature. Thaw frozen foods in your refrigerator or your microwave (caveat: after defrosting meat and poultry in your microwave, you must place it in the grill immediately). This will ensure meat and poultry cooks evenly.
- The color of meat and poultry isn’t a very good indicator of safety, and you can end up eating raw meat if you rely on that when you want to know if your food is properly cooked. The best way to know when your grilled meat has reached a safe internal temperature (and is ready to eat) is to use a food thermometer and check the meat’s temperature (160 ° F for beef, and 165° F for poultry).
Nevertheless, if you want to learn more about how to grill your foods safely, then you’ve got take one of FnaSafety’s courses on food safety. FnaSafety is the nation’s leading website with the widest selection of exams and courses on food safety. A few of the services FnaSafety provides are Allergen Training Pennsylvania, Indiana Certified Food Protection Manager, Food Safety California Test, Food Handler California, and Food Handler Certification Online Texas. Contact FnaSafety today for your food safety certification.