Grill today? Check the temperature of the food | New
As millions of Americans commemorate Memorial Day and welcome summer, the US Department of Agriculture is reminding people to remember your food safety practices.
Rates of foodborne illness tend to increase during the summer months because sprouts grow faster in warmer, more humid weather.
People also cook and eat outside, which makes food safety shortcuts tempting because they are far from the convenience of soap and running water in the kitchen sink.
“Memorial Day marks the start of warmer weather and summer fun,” said Sandra Eskin, USDA Assistant Under Secretary for Food Safety. “Don’t let foodborne illness ruin cooking – follow food safety guidelines such as washing your hands, cooking your food thoroughly, and checking the temperature of food with a thermometer.”
For those who choose to celebrate outdoors, the USDA has some tips for novices and pros.
Many people can grill on their own for the first time. An important lesson for beginner grills is to remember that color is never a reliable indicator of safety and cooking. Use a food thermometer to ensure the following safe internal temperatures:
Cook the poultry (whole or minced) to 165 F.
Cook steaks, chops, and roasts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal to 145 F. For safety and quality, let meat sit for at least three minutes before carving or eating.
Cook the ground beef, pork, lamb and veal to 160 F.
Cook the egg dishes at 160 F.
Don’t have a food thermometer? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).
Although frozen food may appear precooked or browned, it should be handled and prepared in the same way as raw food and should be grilled at appropriate temperatures. Frozen products can be labeled with phrases such as “Bake and Serve”, “Ready to Bake” and “Ready to Bake” to indicate that they need to be cooked.
Thoroughly cook the mechanically tenderized meat
Many grilling masters like to use already tender meats to which marinades have been added to get the most out of their meal. However, mechanically tenderized beef, including prepackaged cuts in marinades, must be well cooked to ensure food safety.
If the outside of the meat contains bacteria, it will be transferred to the inside of the meat during mechanical tenderization, which will require it to be cooked to kill the germs.
The best way to ensure a worry-free barbecue is to cook the tenderized meat thoroughly. Use your food thermometer and follow the USDA recommendations for safe internal temperatures mentioned above.
Follow the one hour rule on hot days
When the outside temperature rises above 90 ° F, perishable foods such as meats and poultry, cold dips and salads, or cut fruits and vegetables are only safe to sit on the table for an hour. After an hour, harmful bacteria, which can cause foodborne illness, may start to grow. To avoid this, keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
According to a recent USDA survey (PDF, 2.4 MB), nearly 85% of participants said they do not keep food cold on ice when serving it. Keep foods cold at an internal temperature of 40 F or less by keeping foods on ice or in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
In the same survey, 66 percent of participants indicated that they do not keep their cooked foods, such as burgers and hot dogs, warm after cooking. Hot perishable foods should be kept warm (above 140 F) until consumed or refrigerate leftovers within an hour.
Know your outside environment
At your outdoor barbecue, make sure you have hand sanitizer or wet wipes to keep your hands clean before, during and after preparing food. Here are some suggestions:
Use warm, soapy water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
Use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Use alcohol-based wet wipes to sanitize cutting boards or utensils.
For summer food safety questions, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live at ask.usda. gov 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday to Friday. . Don’t forget about food safety for a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!