Keep food safety in mind this summer
This summer, there will be a whole lot of outdoor cookouts and parties going on.
With plenty of food being served from creamy salads to dips to chicken and burgers, there’s one thing you want to avoid: the potential for food-borne illness because you didn’t cook something to a safe temperature or left something out too long.
To make your holiday a food-safe one, keep these tips in mind from the United States Department of Agriculture foodsafety.gov arm.
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
Follow the two-hour rule. Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours. If the temperature goes above 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit), the food should stay no more than one hour.
Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler.
Once meat and poultry are cooked, keep them hot (60 C or 140 F or higher) until you serve them.
Use your grill rack to keep food hot without overcooking it.
‘Pro’ grilling tips
— Place the thermometer. Make sure your food is ready by checking the internal temperature. Find the thickest part of the meat and insert the thermometer. For thin pieces of meat (chicken breast, hamburgers) stick the thermometer from the side and make sure the probe reaches the centre of the meat.
— Read the temperature. After inserting the thermometer, wait about 10 to 20 seconds for an accurate reading. Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts, and chops) the temperature should be 63 C (145 F) with a three-minute rest time. All ground meats (beef, lamb, pork and veal) need to reach 71 C (160 F). For whole poultry, poultry breasts, and ground poultry the internal temperature should be 74 C (165 F).
— Off the grill. Once the meat and poultry reach their safe minimum internal temperatures, take the food off the grill and place it on a clean platter. Never put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.
Make sure your food is ready by checking the internal temperature.