In our household, the most wonderful time of year is barbecue season. We love the smell of barbecue, the delicious food and the time with family and friends. What I recently learned is that incidents of food poisoning spike in summer because warmer temperatures cause bacteria to multiply faster.
We tend to assume that if anything will, the barbecue is going to get our meat and poultry to the right temperature for eliminating bacteria. However, according to new research just released by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), nearly two-thirds of Americans are not using a food thermometer regularly to check the temperature of meat and poultry.
To combat this, the Food Safe Families campaign is spreading knowledge and awareness of the “Four Steps to Food Safety” for the summer season. Be a food safe family this summer by following these four steps: Clean: Make sure you clean all utensils, hands, and surfaces with soapy water. If you’re going to be outside, using a moist towelette is a good idea.
Separate: Don’t put meat items back on the same plate you used for the raw meat! Make sure you bring two plates for grilling and separate raw meat from fruits and veggies.
Cook: Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 °Fahrenheit before serving. Remember, just because it’s brown doesn’t mean its safe, use a food thermometer every time.
Chill: The general rule is to never let food sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours, but once the temps reach 90 °Fahrenheit, that’s reduced to 1 hour.
For more helpful tips on food safety and recall alerts, please go to: www.foodsafety.gov. Have a food safe summer!
The Food Safe Families campaign is an effort on behalf of the USDA, FDA, CDC and the Ad Council. Though this is not a compensated post I am helping to spread the word on becoming food safe.