Memorial Day seems to be the unofficial start to grilling season! Whether it is meat and poultry or fruit and vegetables, below are some grilling tips to keep you and your family safe.
- Keep plenty of utensils and plates on hand when grilling. Do not use the same plate and utensil for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Use a new plate when taking food off the grill to serve.
- Find a source of clean water. If you are eating away from home, make sure that there is clean water to use. If not, take clean water for grilling and cleaning with you. Pack clean cloths and moist towels to clean surfaces and hands.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables. Keep fruits and veggies separate from raw meat and poultry. Keep foods in an insulated cooler to keep them from going bad.
- Don't Wash Your Chicken. Washing chicken before it is cooked can get bacteria in the sink and on the counter. Take chicken out of the package and put directly on the grill or in the pan to cook.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure foods reach a safe internal temperature. Food may look, smell, and feel "done" but may not be safe to eat.
- Before grilling -- keep food items such as meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to grill. Grab ice to pack your food if you are shopping on your way to the cookout.
- Cooler -- pack with ice and ice packs to keep the food cool while traveling.
- Cooler storage -- keep coolers out of direct sunlight.
- Leftovers -- refrigerate leftovers right after you finish eating. Throw out any food left out more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees).
- Marinating -- food that is marinated should be placed back in the refrigerator for safe storage.
- Before grilling -- if the marinade will be a sauce for the cooked foods, set some aside before putting raw meat and poultry in the marinade.
- Use two coolers -- Keep meat and poultry separate from drinks, fruits, veggies, and salads. Take two coolers to keep your food safe!