Photo: Getty Images
Labor Day weekend is another chance to grill out at make some good BBQ and hanging with family and friends. But, safety experts warn that one little mistake could take your party from a great summer memory to a trip to the emergency room if you’re not careful.
Here are a couple tips from food safety experts who urge you to stay far away from the following items:
Any Meat Cooked Without A Thermometer
- Though many home cooks pride themselves on their ability to eyeball when a burger or chicken breast is done by check out the color and texture, experts say doneness is never a guarantee without a digital meat thermometer.
- Checking meat’s internal temperature helps ensure the meat is hot enough to kill everything from salmonella to E. coli.
- Not sure what temps you’re aiming for? Make sure you use the following list…
- Poultry: 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ground meat: 160 degrees
- Steak: 145 degrees
- Fish: 145 degrees
- Hot dogs: 140 degrees
Kimberly Baker, who’s a registered dietician and food systems and safety program team director at Clemson University, says contamination from raw meat can be hazardous to your health.
Before grabbing for that burger on the barbie, the baker wants you to ask these questions:
- Is there a chance that the meat could get recontaminated from the cooking utensil touching raw and then cooked meat?
- Is the cooked meat being placed back on the same plate as the raw meat?
- Is there any marinade or sauce that was used with the raw meat being put back on the cooked meat?
And if the answer to any of these is “yes,” stay away!
Foods That Aren’t Being Kept At The Right Temp
Things like potato salad and sliced fruit really hit the spot at a cookout. However, many different types of foods can grow bacteria that cause foodborne illness if they’re left out in the heat for two or more hours, according to Tamika Sims, senior director of food technology communications at the International Food Information Council.
The same rule goes for foods that should remain hot and start getting cold.
Veggies Mixed With Meat Marinade
- Few things taste better than savory marinated veggie skewers. The only problem is when you’re dumping the mixture that previously marinated your meat.
- Doing this could introduce harmful bacteria to the vegetables that could make people extremely sick.
Veggies Cut On The Same Boar As Raw Meat
This should seem fairly obvious, but when you’re rushing around in the kitchen, trying to do a million things while hungry guests wait to be served, it’s easy to overlook some important details.
Experts say the best way to avoid cutting veggies where the meat was cut is by always washing surfaces after you’ve used them.