September 25, 2021

Is It Safe to Partially Cook Meat and Poultry Ahead of Time?

Labor Day is the last big grilling holiday of the summer season. Most Americans love to grill, and cook out whether at home or in a park. Grilling food safety tips are important for every person to know. But there's one question that is not often answered: Is it safe to partially cook meat and poultry ahead of time? Most people love to be able to prepare many foods ahead of time when they are entertaining. Salads, desserts, and side dishes are all easy to prepare ahead. But what about meats? While you can cut meat into serving sizes and marinate meats for added flavor and tenderness, you should never partially cook meat or poultry ahead of time to finish later, according to the CDC. This is not widely known and this fact is not often included in FDA or USDA grilling tips. The … [Read more...]

Little Known Safe Grilling Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illness

When it comes to summer grilling, we are bombarded with information about how to keep the food you are cooking safe. Everyone knows (or should know) about safe final internal temperatures, to wash your hands before cooking and after handling raw meats, and to follow expiration dates on these products. But there are little known safe grilling tips to prevent illness. For instance, did you know that you can get sick if you don't handle marinades properly?  Any marinade that has come into contact with raw meat will instantly become contaminated with pathogens. Vinegar or lemon juice in marinade will not kill these pathogens. So if you are using a marinade, handle it carefully. If you want to use some for dipping or to marinate vegetables, make the marinade, reserve some in another bowl … [Read more...]

Do You Know If You Are Grilling Mechanically Tenderized Beef?

With grilling season upon us and the Fourth of July holiday next week, most Americans are taking to their outdoor grills. We grill everything from chicken wings to veggies to burgers to steaks. But do you know if you are grilling mechanically tenderized beef? There are several ways of tenderizing meat: marinating, the way you cut it after it's cooked, and mechanical tenderizing. Knowing if the meat you are grilling is mechanically tenderized can make the difference between enjoying a nice meal and getting sick. And there's a lot of mechanically tenderized beef out there: 6.2 billion servings of mechanically tenderized beef are served every year on American tables. The USDA is offering tips on how to protect yourself and your family while grilling. One section of that piece … [Read more...]

Charcoal Grill Safety Tips From Consumer Product Safety Commission

It's the first full da of summer, so it's appropriate that we discuss charcoal grill safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The second part of this discussion will cover food safety when grilling, which mostly involves using a thermometer, safe final internal food temperatures, and washing plates and utensils while cooking. Charcoal bags now have a food safety label, indicating that the use of that product is a carbon monoxide hazard. Put bluntly, burning charcoal inside can kill you. This heat source gives off carbon monoxide as it burns, which has no odor. Never ever burn charcoal inside homes, vehicles, or tents. In fact, you shouldn't even grill on a porch that has a ceiling. Furthermore, do not bring a charcoal grill inside the house to use for … [Read more...]

Memorial Day Grilling Food Safety Tips From the USDA

Memorial Day is next Monday, so the USDA is offering Memorial Day grilling food safety tips, to pros and beginners alike for the long weekend. Rates of food poisoning and food poisoning outbreaks increase in the summer months because bacteria grow faster in warm weather. In addition, cooking and eating food outdoors can be risky because people are tempted to take shortcuts to food safety. Sandra Eskin, USDA's Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety said in a statement, "Memorial Day marks the beginning of warmer weather and summer fun. Don’t let foodborne illness ruin the cookout –follow food safety guidelines like washing your hands, thoroughly cooking your food and checking food temperature with a thermometer." First, always use a food thermometer when you are cooking meat and … [Read more...]

Keep Your Backyard Barbecue Safe From Staphylococcus With Tips

The USDA is offering tips to help keep your backyard barbecue safe from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria this summer.  Cooking outdoors presents special challenges, including grilling food to a safe internal temperature, and higher ambient temperatures. The press release focuses on Staphylococcus aureus, which sickens about 240,000 Americans every year. About 1,000 of those patients need to be hospitalized, and about six people die every year. A USDA scientist developed a test that detects the pathogen in foods, which is faster, more sensitive, and less expensive than other standardized tests. Reuven Rasooly, a chemist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) said in a statement, "The current test detects active toxin only 50 percent of the time compared to the test, … [Read more...]

With Warm Weather Here, Learn How to Handle Food Safely Outdoors

With warm weather finally here, many people are planning barbecues and picnics. But warm weather presents special challenges to keeping food safety. Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures above 40°F and food needs to be handled carefully. The FDA has some advice about how to handle food safely outdoors. First, pack food safety. All cold food should be kept cold. Put child food into a cooler that has ice or frozen gel packs. All cold food should be stored below 40°F to prevent and slow bacterial growth. You can pack meat, poultry, and seafood while it's still frozen so they stay colder longer. Organize the cooler contents carefully. Put beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in a second. That way, when you open the cooler to get beverages, perishable foods won't be exposed to … [Read more...]

Keep Food Safe at Fall Football Cookouts With Tips From Experts

It's football time, and that means tailgating. Keep your food safe at fall football cookouts with food safety tips from Auburn University. Tailgate parties usually take place in parking lots and areas around football stadiums around the country. Most people grill at these gatherings, which present some unique food safety issues. But if you follow these tips at each step, from purchasing the food to grilling and cleanup, you can stay safe and avoid foodborne illness. First, when you shop, purchase meats such as ground hamburger, hot dogs, and chicken last. Get them home quickly and into the refrigerator and freezer. When you are packing and preparing food for your fall football cookouts, make sure you put them in an insulated cooler and use ice or frozen gel packs to keep them … [Read more...]

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