Whatever you are cooking up this summer on the grill, keep food safe for friends and family with our food safety tips.
Germs such as E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter can cause serious illness. You can steer clear of food poisoning by taking some simple steps. Always make sure you cook chicken, pork, burgers, sausages and kebobs until they are piping hot all the way through. None of the meat should be pink and any juices should run clear.
Make sure frozen food is properly thawed before you cook it. Turn the food regularly, and move it around the barbecue to cook it evenly.
Check that the centre of the food meets the required temperature for doneness: poultry at 740 C (1650 F); pork 660 C (1510F); beef 630 C (1460 F) and ground meats 680 C (1550 F). Donít assume that if the meat is charred on the outside that it will be cooked properly on the inside.
Always keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat food because raw meat contains food poisoning germs. Donít slop raw burgers right up against burgers that are ready to be served. If raw meat touches or drops onto food that is already cooked or ready to eat, the bacteria can get on this cooked food, spreading germs to the eaters.
Germs can also transfer onto food from your hand, chopping board, knife or tongs. This type of cross-contamination can be prevented by doing the following:
∑ Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
∑ Use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat. Never put cooked food on a plate or surface that has been used for raw meat.
∑ Keep raw meat in a sealed container away from ready-to-eat foods, such as burger buns and salads.
∑ Donít add sauce or marinade to cooked food if it has already been used with raw meat.
Warm summer weather provides the perfect temperature for bacteria to grow, so it is especially important to keep the hot food hot (600 C or 1400 F) and cold food cold (40 C or 1400 F) until you are ready to eat.
For further information on food safety call the Public Health Unit at 376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456, or visit our web site at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca
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