Safe Food Grilling
The tradition of grilling runs strong in America, especially this time of year! Fourth of July celebrations, anyone?
But there's one thing that could ruin everyone's good time - not cooking your food properly and safely and exposing your family and friends to food borne illness.
Check out these tips to ensure your food is cooked properly and safely.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests the safest minimum temperature meat should be cooked at to reduce food borne illness.
• Whole poultry: 165 °F
• Poultry breasts: 165 °F
• Ground poultry: 165 °F
• Ground meats: 160 °F
• Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steak, roasts and chops): 145 °F
Keep in mind that when meat is cooked at high temperatures it forms carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). By creating rubs and marinades with herbs and spices, this not only makes meats more flavorful, but they protect foods from HCAs.
Rosemary is just one spice that prevents these harmful toxins from forming. Similar results have been found when using basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano and thyme.
For a summery tasting marinade, try orange juice with basil or rosemary! Another excellent rub? Try rosemary and oregano combined with smoked paprika!
In addition to reducing harmful toxins, it is also important to follow safety tips while preparing raw meats in the kitchen prior to grilling.
• Ensure you always wash your hands before and after handing raw meat to avoid transferring food borne illness to other food.
• Never reuse the same plate for your meat. Take the meat to the grill with one plate and always use a clean plate to place cooked food on after grilling.
• Never save marinades and sauces after your meat has soaked in them. Discard them after use.
• Refrigerate leftovers within two hours or within one hour if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now...get out there and fire up the grill!