Keep food safety in mind this sum­mer

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - SU­SAN SELASKY

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.

GETTY IM­AGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Make sure your food is ready by check­ing the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture.

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