Safe Summer Grilling
Keep Your Food Bacteria-Free
Have a safe summer when it comes to your food and grilling! Researchers at Oregon State University found that the number of some kinds of urinary tract and gastrointestinal infections rises as much as 17 percent for every 10-degree jump in the outside temperature.
E. Coli is more widespread during grilling season, and it’s possible that people are getting sick from organisms such as staph that they share while swimming. Fight back by avoiding undercooked meat, showering after a swim, and keeping sores clean and covered. I’m sure many of you are still planning outdoor festivities of some sort, and that usually involves food.
Whether you’re having a backyard barbecue, a tailgate party, or a picnic in the park, it’s smart to keep a few food-safety tips in mind so that no one ends the weekend on an unhappy note.
Tips for Grillers
Keep it cool: Don’t leave your steaks sizzling in the sun for hours before you’re going to cook them. Bacteria start to multiply when food is in the Danger Zone: 40°-140°.
Cook it right: Ground meat needs to reach 160°, chicken breasts should be 165° (though to get rid of the pinkness, you may want to go higher), and fish should be 145° and totally opaque inside.
Keep it hot…or cold: Hot foods need to stay hot and cold ones need to stay cold. It’s all about staying out of the Danger Zone. Hot stuff needs to be kept above 140° and cold items should be below 40°. Foods with a protein source (chicken salad, tuna salad, meats, cheese, and salads with eggs) are especially vulnerable.
Chuck the leftovers: After a day outside, almost everything will need to get pitched except for sealed non-refrigerated beverages and packaged foods (chips, pretzels, cookies).