Grilling out can be one of the most enjoyable summer activities there is, especially if you’re able to spend time with friends and family. However, if your meat is not prepared properly, it can lead to foodborne illness, affecting everyone who eats it. To guarantee your next summer BBQ is a success, there are a few guidelines you should follow.
- At the store: When you are purchasing your meat and poultry, try to pick it up last so it does not sit in your cart while you do the rest of your shopping. Packages of raw meat should be put into plastic bags, away from the rest of your food, to avoid cross-contamination.
- At home: Once you get home, it’s important to put meat into the refrigerator immediately. If you don’t plan to use the meat within 1-2 days, it should be frozen. Any meat that has been frozen should be properly thawed so that it cooks evenly. The refrigerator is good for slow, safe thawing. If the food will be placed on the grill, it is OK to defrost it via the microwave.
- Sanitize everything: Raw and cooked meat and poultry should never be put on the same platter or touched with the same utensil. Raw meat and poultry contains harmful bacteria that can contaminate safely cooked food.
- Cooking the meat: It’s crucial that meat is cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. The best way to check this is by using a food thermometer. Because meat and poultry brown quickly on the grill, it can seem as though they’re cooked completely. However, the internal temperature is what’s important. Check here for safe minimum internal temperatures.
- Serving and saving: When it comes time to serve the meat, make sure to use a clean platter. If the temperature outdoors is above 90 degrees, the food should not be left out for more than one hour. When it comes time to package up leftovers, make sure they are refrigerated in shallow containers.
If you believe you are suffering from a foodborne illness, you should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. To find the nearest CareNow to you, visit our website. Be sure to utilize the web check-in to avoid the waiting room on your visit!
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.