If every season has its sport, the sport of summer for a lot of people has to be GRILLING! Grilling food, as compared to more standard cooking methods such as frying, baking, broiling or roasting, has advantages. For one, the clean-up is minimal and to boost, it is a great way to reduce the fat of prepared foods without reducing the flavor. Grilling in hot weather can also have drawbacks. The biggest is the risk for food poisoning from growth of bacteria. Here are a few helpful reminders for safe grilling this Grilling Season:
• Marinate meats and foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter, so bacteria will not have a chance to grow. If you like to baste foods while they are grilling, save some marinade in advance. Do not use marinade that has been used on raw meat.
• Wash any utensils and plates that have come in contact with raw meat before using them for cooked foods. Keep other grill foods away from the raw meat as well.
• Better safe than sorry. Use a thermometer when cooking meats and check for doneness. Large cuts of beef like roasts should reach 160° F (medium), and poultry should reach 180° F.
• Serve food immediately, so hot foods do not cool enough to start growing bacteria. Throw out any meat that has been left in a 85°F (or hotter) environment for more than one hour.
• Promptly refrigerate food after serving, and divide into smaller containers, so food cools quickly. This decreases the chance for bacterial growth.