The official start of summer is just around the corner! The weather is heating up, which means you’ll likely spend more time cooking outdoors. However, cooking outdoors with the warmer temperatures can create an unsafe environment for your food. Here are some food safety tips to keep you and your guests from falling ill.
- Be aware of any food recalls before you start shopping.
- Even if you will be peeling or discarding the skin, it is important to always wash your fruits and vegetables. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend using a brush to scrub harder produce (ex. melons, cucumbers).
- Avoid cross contamination by keeping your fruits and vegetables away from raw meat.
- Be sure to properly store your produce before cooking. Refrigerator temperature should be set to 40°F or lower, and the freezer should be set to 0°F or lower to help prevent spoiling.
- Save your raw meats and poultry for last at the grocery store. This ensures that they stay cooler longer.
- Again, avoid cross contamination by bagging raw meats separately.
- After handling raw meat, wash hands immediately and clean your workstations.
- Discard packaging that came in contact with raw meat, and keep other foods separate so raw meat juices do not contaminate the other foods.
- Invest in a meat thermometer. Your goal should be to reach these temperatures:
- 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal, plus fish as well
- 160°F for hamburgers and ground beef
- 165°F for all poultry and pre-cooked meats (ex. hot dogs)
- Keep grill clean. Watch for bristles from wire brushes that may get stuck on the grill and, consequently, can get stuck in your food.
- If you cooked any meat ahead of time, be sure to reheat the meat to at least 165°F.
- Remember – grilling meat at high temps can create carcinogenic chemicals. It is advised that you eat grilled meat in moderation. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that processed meats in general are carcinogens and that red meat is likely a carcinogen, too.
- According to the CDC, any pre-cooked or ready to eat foods should be eaten as soon as possible.
- Your deli meat shouldn’t sit longer than five days in the refrigerator.
- If you have an opened package of hot dogs, you should use it within a week.
- The CDC also recommends that leftovers in general should be eaten within four days.
Are you planning any backyard cookouts this summer? Any cooking tips you want to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.
Visit us and enjoy the warmer weather on our patio. Or you can take our food to go and find a nice picnic spot. Stop by weekdays between 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm. Want to avoid the line? Go to www.BrickMarketDeli.com and order online!