Happy Fourth of July and Happy Grilling
On this Fourth of July, surveys indicate that 160 million Americans plan on cooking out over the holiday, spending $2.4 million on food for parties and gatherings.
Kathy Bernard with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, says beware of cross-contamination of unwashed platters.
Bernard: “You want to be really careful when you take your meat from the grill that you don’t put it on the same plate as the raw meat, not unless you washed the plate first. So either wash the plate in between or have a clean plate or platter to put your finished grill items on for safety. Because If you don’t you could be cross-contaminate bacteria and possible pathogens.”
She encourages cooks to also have two separate utensils -- one to use on the raw product and another for cooked meats.
One item that improves food safety Bernard says is a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature. She reminds us
Bernard: “For example if you are cooking burgers, ground meats need to be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve got a beef or pork steak, roast or chop you are going to want to take it to 145 and allow it to rest for three minutes before you consume it.”
The meat will continue to cook those three minutes and kill any bacteria. Bernard adds that poultry products need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.