Sears and Stripes – Your Guide to Summer Cookout Safety

Summer is here and along with it are all the things that make it great, especially cookouts. To ensure your food stays safe – and savory – we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for all your warm-weather barbecues.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

And we don’t mean letting your potato salad mingle with your hot dog. Cutting boards, plates and utensils that came in contact with any raw meats should be set aside or properly cleaned and sanitized before being reused. Any sauces or marinades that were used to prepare meats should be thrown away.

Unsure on how to properly clean kitchen tools? Use an anti-bacterial dish detergent alongside hot water. Let dishes soak for at least five minutes to cut through grease and baked-on food while helping eliminate bacteria.

Keep it Cool

Meat, poultry and seafood should all be refrigerated or kept on ice until they are ready to be grilled. Coolers should be well insulated and lined with fresh ice. Any meats or produce that is kept in the cooler should be bagged separately in disposable bags.

After food has been cooked, leftovers should be placed in air-tight containers within one hour of cooking. Ensure that no insects have taste-tested your delicious foods before being sent home with friends and family.

Cook Food to Proper Temperature

Once your protein is on the grill, use a meat thermometer to ensure food reaches the proper temperature for consumption. When using the thermometer, be sure it reaches the center of the meat as the outside tends to get hotter, quicker.

If you’re unsure how hot your protein should be, below are the CDC’s recommended temperatures:

  • 145°F or hotter for all beef, pork, lamb, veal and fish
  • 160°F or hotter for all hamburgers and other ground meats
  • 165°F or hotter for all poultry

Summer barbecues are a fun way to share healthy food and enjoy the warmer weather, together. But, accidents do happen. In case a surprise case of food poisoning or an unforeseen sprain interrupts the fun, Five Star Urgent Care is here to help save the day. Walk in to a Five Star Urgent Care nearest you today.