Food Safety Tips
Tricks to Avoid Menu Disasters
Grilling and serving food at a backyard barbecue can be tricky. It's important to keep some foods, especially meat, at certain temperatures to avoid contamination. Keep these tips in mind for the safety of your guests.
- Store raw meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill it. Only take out the amount of meat that will fit on the grill at any one time.
- Don't partially grill meat to use later. Once you begin cooking meat by any method, cook until it is completely done.
- Make sure your grill is hot before placing meat on it. Allow about 10 minutes for a gas grill to heat up and about 30 to 40 minutes if you are using charcoal briquettes.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. Color and feel are not accurate ways to check doneness. Make sure the thermometer isn't touching any bone, as this could give a false reading. How hot should it be? A general rule of thumb is at least 145 degrees F for beef, 180 degrees F for chicken and 145 degrees F for pork with a 3 minute rest period.
- Plates, bowls, or utensils that touch raw meat should not be used once meat is cooked.
- Use clean plates and utensils for serving.
- When serving chicken, egg or cold meat salads (or any recipes calling for mayonnaise), keep it cold until it's time to eat.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly.