Photo provided by Markaye Russell.
Most traditions for families are to get together for the holiday
weekend with good food and company, and with that the grilling
festivities begin. Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when
warmer temperatures cause food borne germs to thrive. Here are some
steps to remember to help with a safe and fun grilling season!
• Separate: When shopping, try to pick up your meat, poultry, and seafood last. Separate them from other food in your cart and grocery bags to help avoid cross-contamination.
• Chill: Hold meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. When transporting, keep below 40°F in an approved insulated cooler.
• Clean: Remember to wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Also wash all surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking.
• Cook: For best results, use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs. For smoking meats, keep temperatures inside the smoker at 225°F to 300°F to keep meat at safe temperature while it cooks.
- 145°F: Whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal
- 145°F: Fish
- 160°F: Hamburgers and other ground beef
- 165°F: All poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
Use a wet cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking. Wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes could dislodge and stick into food on the grill.
Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices, which can spread germs to cooked foods. Once food is cooked, use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill. After grilling, keep your cooked meats at 140°F until it’s served.
Remember to refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours after cooking or one hour if temperature is above 90°F outside. Divide leftovers into small portions and place in covered, shallow containers.
This article is written by Markaye Russell, Area Nutrition Agent, Ouachita, and Union Parishes. This article is referenced by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture