While summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer and that means food on the grill with friends and family. Be careful though, the CDC says millions of us will get sick this summer from outdoor grilling goofs like this one.
“I would say the biggest would be not fully cooking the foods on the grill,” says Meredith Carothers, a food safety expert with USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline.
She reminds you to use a food thermometer and follow the temperature guidelines below.
Another grilling goof, according to Carothers, is, “Using the same utensil that you used to put all the raw stuff on the grill to take the cooked stuff off.” She adds that you shouldn’t use the same platter that you carried out raw food on to bring the cooked food back in.
The third big grilling goof according to Carothers: not washing your hands!
“Certain bacteria can live on surfaces for like 72 hours. So, think about it. You’re making dinner, you’ve touched chicken, touched your spice containers without washing your hands, and then in the morning you’re cooking eggs and you want to use the same spice in your eggs, and then that gets all touched to other places… So, yeah, it’s just crazy what your hands can move around.”
This seems like a simple one, but USDA conducted a study in their test kitchens and found, “97 percent of the time people didn’t either wash their hands at all or didn’t do all 5 steps of hand washing for a full 20 seconds.”
If you have questions, the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline number is 888-MPHOTLINE (888-674-6854). You can also go online to Ask.usda.gov.
Enjoy your holiday weekend and make sure it’s a safe one where no one gets hurt or sick. And while you celebrate with friends and family, remember those who died protecting our freedoms and their families who miss them dearly.
Source: USDA Radio News