A food thermometer should be your best friend, never determine meat doneness based on color. Use a food thermometer and make sure meat is cooked to the recommended minimum internal temperature to reduce the risk of food borne illness. For the three most common types of grilled meats, those recommendations include:
- Steaks, chops and roasts – 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ground meat – 160 F.
- All poultry – 165 F.
A food thermometer should be inserted into the center of the thickest part of the meat, away from bone, fat and gristle. For ground meat – such as hamburger patties – insert into the side so that the thermometer is positioned through the center of the food.
- Use separate plates and utensils for raw meats and cooked meats.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be maintained at a temperature above 140 F, while cold foods should be kept below 40 F.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling raw foods, before and during meal preparation, and before eating.
- Prepare several ice chests to keep food cold and to separate items. Keep beverages in one chest, ready-to-eat foods in another, and raw meats in a third.
- Do not wash meat or poultry before cooking.
Some non-food safety tips include positioning the grill away from flammable areas, checking the charcoal or gas supply so you don’t run out while preparing meals, and keeping children and pets away from a hot grill. Have fun and stay safe this grilling season!
By: Ashley Svaty