Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with
family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they
are cooking outdoors year round. Use these simple guidelines
for grilling food safely to prevent harmful bacteria from
multiplying and causing food-borne illness.
Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it
cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe
thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can
microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on
Meat and poultry can be marinated for several hours or days
to tenderize or add flavor. Be sure to marinate food in the
refrigerator, not on the counter. If some of the marinade is
to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion
of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it.
However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to
be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to
destroy any harmful bacteria.
When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to
minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with
sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40? F or
below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler
immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the
coolest part of the car.
4. Keep Cold Food Cold
When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by
placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid
too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack
beverages in one cooler & perishables in a separate cooler.
5. Keep Everything Clean
Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To
prevent food-borne illness, don't use the same platter and
utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful
bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices
can contaminate safely cooked food.
6. Cook Thoroughly
Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful
bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns
very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure
the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Whole
poultry should reach 180? F; breasts, 170? F. Hamburgers
made of ground beef should reach 160? F; ground poultry,
165? F. Beef, veal, and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be
cooked to 145? F. All cuts of pork should reach 160? F.
NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking
7. Keep Hot Food Hot
After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot
until served -- at 140? F or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot
by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly
over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the
cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately
200? F), in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming
8. Serving Safely
When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't
put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or
poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices
could contaminate safely cooked food.
9. Safe Smoking
Smoking is done much more slowly than grilling, so less
tender meats benefit from this method, and a natural smoke
flavoring permeates the meat. The temperature in the smoker
should be maintained at 250? F to 300? F for safety. Use a
food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe
10. Pit Roasting
Cooking may require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficult
to estimate. A meat thermometer must be used to determine
the meat's safety and doneness. There are many variables
such as outdoor temperature, the size and thickness of the
meat, and how fast the coals are cooking.
My Home-Based Business Advisor
Copyright ? by Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.
About The Author
Terry Nicholls is the author of the eBook "Food Safety: Protecting Your Family From Food Poisoning". In addition, he writes from his own experiences in trying to start his own home-based business. To benefit from his success, visit My Home-Based Business Advisor - Helping YOUR Home Business Start and Succeed for free help for YOUR home business, including ideas, startup, and expansion advice.