When barbecuing, you need to follow food safety rules and also cook meat to a temperature that will kill bacteria, if you want to avoid getting sick. Here are some rules I keep in mind:
- Keep everything clean. This means utensils and platters (don’t put cooked burgers on the same platter you had the raw ones on). It also means keeping hands clean. If you are cooking and eating away from home, find out if there’s a place to wash your hands. (Is there soap and water in that outhouse?) If not, bring water, soap and paper towels from home.
- Cook meat thoroughly. The only way to tell for sure is with a thermometer. It sounds weird, but I keep an instant read thermometer in my car…and you can’t believe how many times I’ve had to pull it out. My Dad counts on me always having it with me when he’s smoking or cooking meats. Below is a chart with the recommended temperatures. You might want to clip it out and put it with your grill equipment.
SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURES
Whole poultry, poultry breasts, ground poultry: 165°F
Ground beef and pork: 160°F
Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks, roasts and chops):
Medium rare 145°F
Cuts of pork, ham: 145°F
You can find more information at Foodsafety.gov.
Here’s to a summer of fun, safe, and delicious meals!
-contributed by Renee