outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and
friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking
outdoors year round. Use these simple guidelines for grilling
food safely to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing
defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly.
Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages
in cold water. You can microwave defrost if the food will be placed
immediately on the grill.
Meat and poultry
can be marinated for several hours or days to tenderize or add
flavor. Be sure to marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the
counter. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the
cooked food, reserve a portion
of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However,
if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make
sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.
food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth.
Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep
the food at 40° F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator
into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler
in the coolest part of the car.
Cold Food Cold
a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade
or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air
out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler & perishables
in a separate cooler.
Using a food thermometer at the grill
protects against harmful
and helps avoids
Be sure there
are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne
illness, don't use the same 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.
to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat
and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside.
Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe
poultry should reach 180° F; breasts, 170° F. Hamburgers
made of ground beef should reach 160° F; ground poultry, 165°
F. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be cooked
to 145° F. All cuts of pork should reach 160° F. NEVER
partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
Hot Food Hot
meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served -- at
140° F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to
the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where
they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot
in a warm oven (approximately 200° F), in a chafing dish or
slow cooker, or on a warming tray.
food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked food
on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful
bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely
done much more slowly than grilling, so less tender meats benefit
from this method, and a natural smoke flavoring permeates the
meat. The temperature in the smoker should be maintained at 250°
F to 300° F for safety. Use a food thermometer to be sure
the food has reached a safe internal temperature.
require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficult to estimate. A
meat thermometer must be used to determine the meat's safety and
doneness. There are many variables such as outdoor temperature,
the size and thickness of the
meat, and how fast the coals are cooking.
(c) Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved. Terry Nicholls is the author of the eBook "Food Safety: Protecting Your Family From Food Poisoning".