With the summer sunshine and weather, we’re all excited for outdoor dining and barbeques. STOP Foodborne Illness has some useful tips for grilling outdoors and preparing your food safely before, during, and after.
Before You Cook
Food safety starts at the grocery store. Keep meat juices from dripping on produce and other groceries by wrapping meats and poultry in plastic bags. Be sure to keep them separate from other food items in the cart.
Meat, poultry, and other perishable items should be the last to go into your grocery cart and the first to go in your fridge. Bring a cooler with ice when transporting raw meat and poultry home, especially on hot days over 90°F.
When preparing your meal, make two batches of sauce, one to marinade raw meat in and another to baste cooked meat. Always marinate food in the fridge.
Grill meat to a safe internal temperature. Using a meat thermometer is the only way to know if meat is fully cooked—don’t guess!
Check the temperature at the thickest part of the meat, and sanitize the point in between readings.
Safe Internal Temperatures:
Burgers/ground meat (except poultry) to 160°F (72 C)
Chicken and Poultry (including ground, like turkey burgers) to 165°F (74°C)
Whole cuts of meat including pork to 145°F (63°C), with a 3 minute rest time before serving
Fish and Shellfish to 145°F (63°C)
Use separate utensils and dishes for raw and cooked food. Do not serve cooked food on platters that were used to transport raw food to the grill unless they have been washed thoroughly with soap and hot water. The same is true for spatulas, tongs and other utensils.
After the Meal
When the temperature is 90°F (or higher), perishable foods not eaten within one hour should be thrown away. On other days, perishable foods not eaten within two hours should be tossed out. Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers.