Grilling tips ensure sizzlin' summer safety

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rachael Marzette
  • 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron
Cooking outdoors is primarily a summer activity shared with family and friends. In fact, more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round.

So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is brightly shining, it's important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for safely grilling food.

Cross Contamination
When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Cross-contamination can happen when bacteria from raw meat or poultry juices drip on ready-to-eat foods, causing illness.  For prevention, separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart by putting them into plastic bags. Remember to place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately.

Thaw Safely
Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water to keep bacteria from growing and pre-cooking the meat.

Cook Thoroughly and Mind Temperatures
Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature. For raw beef, pork, lamb/veal steaks, chops and roasts, cook to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (or 165 degrees Fahrenheit for poultry) as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.

Please direct any questions to Staff Sgt. Rachael Marzette in the Public Health office at 452-7724 or Comm 0656561-7724.