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5/23/2014 - Food Safety Tips for the Grilling Season

As warm weather approaches, the Fairifeld Health Department want to remind you tokeep food safety in mind when grilling outdoors.  “From Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, play it safe when grilling outdoors,” said Fairfield's Health Director Sands Cleary. “Food safety is just as important when you’re cooking outside as it is when you’re cooking inside. Following a few simple steps can help ensure the success of your barbecues and picnics.” 

Food safety tips for grilling this summer:

  • Wash hands - Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water and dry your hands with a
    paper towel following restroom use, before preparing foods, after handling raw meat or
    before eating. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling raw meat products and
    before handling other foods. Clean hands will help prevent the spread of potentially
    illness-causing microorganisms.
  • Clean - Wash food-contact surfaces often with warm soapy water. Bacteria can spread
    and get onto cutting boards, knives and counter tops. Wash fruits and vegetables before
    preparing.
  • Separate utensils - Be sure to use separate plates and utensils for cooked and uncooked
    foods. Bacteria from uncooked meats and poultry can be dangerous if they contaminate
    cooked food. Don’t reuse marinade – discard after food is removed for cooking. If
    basting is required, use a freshly prepared marinade.
  • Take temperatures - Cook food thoroughly. The most common minimum internal
    cooking temperatures are 158 degrees Fahrenheit for hamburgers, 145 degrees Fahrenheit
    for steaks and ribs, and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry. Be sure to use a food
    thermometer to check temperatures.
  • Keep it cold (or hot) - Keep cold food refrigerated until it is ready to be placed on the
    grill. Consume immediately or hold hot on the grill. Do not hold cooked foods at room
    temperature. Cooked, hot foods should be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
    Cold foods should be kept below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.