Tip of the Day
Memorial Day BBQ
As grills across the country heat up for picnics in the park or backyard barbeques, so does the risk of food poisoning. Luckily, it's easy to safely prepare foods for outdoor dining or on the grill by sticking to a few simple food-handling and preparation steps.
- Devise a plan ahead of time so you are able to wash your hands before, during and after handling foods outside. The best way to wash your hands is in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer near your grill or pack moist towelettes for those moments when soap and water are not readily available.
- Scrub the grill, all outdoor utensils, coolers and other containers with hot soapy water.
- Use one set of plates and utensils to handle raw foods and another set for cooked foods. Always wash utensils in warm, soapy water between uses.
- When preparing favorites like hamburgers, steaks and chicken, remember that using the same brush to baste both raw and cooked meats is a potentially dangerous pitfall.
- Always use a separate or clean marinade brush to marinate raw and cooked meats, and remember to boil any leftover marinade before using it to season cooked meats.
- A food thermometer is the only way to ensure food has been cooked to the proper temperature. Download our Safe Grilling Guide for a listing of safe minimum internal temperatures.
- Stock coolers with plenty of ice and/or ice packs and a refrigerator thermometer to make sure foods are stored below 40°F.
- Don't let foods stay unrefrigerated for more than two hours, or one hour in hot weather (90°F or above). When in doubt – toss it out!
Visit HomeFoodSafety.org for more tips to ensure a safe and healthy Memorial Day Weekend!
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Reviewed March 2013