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Barbeque Safety Tips
Follow these rules before firing up the grill
Outdoor grilling has been a favorite pastime for years, but it can be dangerous if the food isn’t cooked properly. It’s common for people to get sick with food poisoning after eating barbequed food contaminated by germs growing rapidly in the summer heat. However, if you are careful and follow these tips, you are likely to have a safe and enjoyable barbecued meal.
Before you cook…
-Wash your hands and forearms thoroughly before preparing or serving food. Use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
While you are cooking…
-Make sure your meat is cooked to the proper temperature to avoid germs such as E-coli and salmonella. These germs can cause severe food poisoning and even death. Always check the meat’s temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s thoroughly cooked. Meats must be cooked to the proper temperature to assure safety. Foods that reach the temperature listed or higher are fully cooked. Measure the meat’s temperature from the center of the meat, which is the least cooked part. Make sure you are reading the meat’s temperature, and not the temperature of the grill the meat is on!
-Chicken: 165 o F
-Hamburger 160 o F
-Pork: 150 o F
-Hot Dogs: 140 o F
-Leftovers: 165 o F
-Eggs: 145 o F
-Other foods: 140 o F
-Wash your hands after touching any raw meat.
-Use cooking utensils to handle the cooked meat, and don’t place the cooked meat on surfaces that had been touched by the raw meat.
While You Are Serving Food…
-Wash your hands before serving food!
-Serve the first-cooked meats first, and use a utensil when serving the food. Make sure the food is consumed before the temperature reaches under 140 degrees again, and also that it’s consumed within two hours of being cooked.
-Place any leftovers in the refrigerator immediately. Food should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
Whenever Working With Food…
-Leave the food preparation area when you smoke, eat, or drink anything.
-Wash your hands upon returning to the preparation area, or after any contact with unclean surfaces.
-Wipe surfaces clean often, especially after you use them to prepare food. Germs from undercooked meat can grow quicker than you think.
A Few More Tips…
-Store marinated food in the refrigerator. Don’t taste-test the marinade or use it after raw meat has been added to it.
-Cover your trash containers and place all garbage in the trash can immediately to keep the flies away. Don’t use fly spray or chemical insect repellants, as they can contaminate your food as well.
-Keep all food containers in the shade when possible.
-Keep all of your utensils, plates, and bowls covered or in their packaging until you are ready to serve the food.
-Never re-use plates before they have been disinfected and cleaned thoroughly, especially when raw food has touched them.
-Use a separate cutting board for food that won’t be cooked, such as lettuce or other vegetables.
-Tie your hair back to keep it out of the way and from accidentally falling into your food.
-Don’t prepare food if you have been sick within the past 24 hours.
-Don’t wear loose jewelry or false fingernails while working with food.
-Make sure to pack plenty of paper towels and disinfectant for cleaning surfaces at your picnic.
It might seem like a lot of rules, but the main idea is to keep uncooked food separate from food that won’t be cooked, and to remember to wash your hands all the time! Follow these tips every time for a safe and tasty barbeque experience. Enjoy!