With the summer upon us, grilling season celebrates the start of the family get-togethers, beach days, picnics, fireworks and barbeques that the warmer weather will bring.
A few food safety tips to ensure a healthy, happy grilling season:
* Don’t leave perishable food out at room temperature for more than two hours. If you’re having a party that will go longer than that, be sure to refrigerate cooked leftovers immediately, leaving foods like pretzels or tortilla chips out for guests to graze on.
*Make sure to keep marinades, sauces, utensils and tools separate for raw and cooked meat. If you want to reuse a sauce or marinade once the meat is cooked, boil it first.
*When grilling, preheat the coals for 20-30 minutes, or until they are coated in ash. Use a meat thermometer to check food temperatures: 160 degreees is safe for hamburgers and red meat; 165 for ground poultry. Poultry breast should reach 170 degrees; dark meat such as wings and thighs, 180.
source: aarp.org/food/recipes, May 2011