Warm weather is great for barbecues and outdoor picnics. But it's also the perfect environment for bacteria in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness.
Safe summer barbecues
From eNews, July 8, 2004
Grilling season is upon us, but beware, warm weather is an ideal environment for growing bacteria. The University of Minnesota Extension Service has some tips to ensure no one leaves your barbecue party with an upset stomach.
- Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.
- When marinating for long periods of time, keep foods refrigerated. Don't use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food. Boil used marinade before applying it onto cooked food.
- When grilling, preheat the coals for 20 to 30 minutes or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.
- Use a meat thermometer to insure that food reaches a safe internal temperature. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, ground poultry to 165 degrees, and poultry parts to 170 degrees. Large cuts of beef such as roasts and steaks may be cooked to 145 degrees (for medium rare) or 160 degrees (medium).
- When taking foods off the grill, use a clean plate. Don't put cooked food on the same plate that was used for raw food.
- And for that potato salad and coleslaw? A full cooler will stay cold longer than one that's only partially filled, so pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs.