With Labor Day weekend just around the corner, many families are getting ready to have their last big barbeque of the summer. When hosting a barbeque, or even just cooking for the family, there are some important food safety rules to keep your family and guests healthy and happy.
Marinades are a great way to infuse flavor and tenderize meat. Always marinate meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If using some of the marinade as a sauce, before adding it to the meat, be sure to reserve a portion of the marinade. Or, if the leftover marinade is going to be reused as sauce, let it first come to a boil to destroy any harmful bacteria.
To prevent foodborne illness, use a different platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.
Meat needs to be kept cold in a refrigerator or cooler until it’s ready to use. Only take meat out that will be immediately placed on the grill. If using a cooler, place it out of direct sunlight, in the shade.
To destroy harmful bacteria, cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature by using a food thermometer. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside but can be undercooked inside. Foodsafety.gov advises the following safe minimum internal temperatures for meat:
“Cooking meat to the proper internal temperature and taking steps to prevent cross contamination is vital in preventing food-borne illnesses such as salmonella, norovirus, and E. coli,” says Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye.
Taking these food safety precautions helps ensure everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day!