May 29, 2017 — Memorial Day is when millions of Americans honor fallen soldiers and kick off the summer BBQ season. Here are a few food safety tips before you fire up the grill.
Food safety starts at the grocery store. Shop for meat last, wrap it in a plastic bag, keep it separate from other items, and put it in a cooler or an insulated bag in your car to keep it as close to 40ºF as possible. As soon as you get home, put it in the refrigerator or marinade.
Raw meat juices often contain bacteria that will survive around your kitchen. It is essential to disinfect any surfaces, countertops, cutting boards, plates, utensils, and knives to avoid cross-contamination.
The next thing you should think about is cleaning your grill. Do not use cheap wire grill brushes to scrape off last season’s burnt hot dogs. If one tiny bristle sticks to the grates, it may end up in someone’s food. Every year, a few people need emergency surgery for this type of injury.
Cooking your meat to the proper internal temperature is not something you can tell just by looking. You need a meat thermometer to be sure. Here is the proper temperature for most meats:
- 145ºF to 170ºF — Whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, or veal (rest-time of three minutes)
- 145ºF — Fish should be grilled until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
- 160ºF — Hamburgers and ground meat
- 165ºF — Chicken and poultry
Let the meat rest after you take it off the grill. The internal temperature will stay constant or rise slightly for a few minutes, finishing the meat and killing harmful bacteria without over-cooking it. Any leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90ºF, divided and stored in shallow containers.
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The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting food poisoning induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know got sick in an outbreak of food poisoning, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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