Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tips for Safe Grilling

The sun is out just in time for the holiday! So let’s get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. A traditional sunny day activity is outdoor grilling. There can be a lot of distractions at a BBQ - friends and family to talk to, kids and pets running around, food dishes being passed back and forth… with so much going on, one thing should remain at the top of your list: food safety.
Here are some tips for safe grilling:
  • Marinate foods in the refrigerator - never on the kitchen counter or outdoors. If you plan to use some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, save a portion separately before adding the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Don’t reuse marinade.
  • Cook immediately after "partial cooking." If you partially cook food to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill. Cook food thoroughly. When it’s time to cook the food, have your food thermometer ready. Always use it to be sure your food is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Keep cooked food hot. Move cooked grilled food to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals to keep it hot until served.
  • Don't reuse platters or utensils that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood because bacteria from raw food juices can spread to the cooked food. Have a clean platter and utensils ready at grill-side to serve your food.
  • Once served, cold food or hot food should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is above 90° F. If it does - throw it away. Otherwise, keep cold food at 40°F or lower and hot food at 140°F or higher.
  • Pay special attention to children and pets around the grill to prevent burns or other injuries. If you used any lighter fluid to start your grill, make sure you placed it in a secure location – away from heat, out of reach of children, where it cannot spill.
For more food safety information visit www.foodsafety.gov.
Thurston County Environmental Health staff wishes everyone a fun, safe, and tasty summer!

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