When I think of July 4th I think of freedom and ooey gooey sticky sweet BBQ, watermelon and pools, heat, laughter, and cold drinks. How about you? Another thing I think of is food poisoning. Actually, any time picnic season and parties come around I think of it. I’ve never had food poisoning and hope I never do. It doesn’t keep me from worrying though. I have seen several family members become temporary victims – enough to know I don’t want it.Here’s where food safety comes in. With BBQ season in full swing, let’s chat about 4 steps to food safety.
Would you use a pan that you had cooked meat in and not cleaned yet? No. Of course not. So why would you use grill utensils on your raw meat and then on the cooked before washing them? Why would you put cooked meat back onto the plate that held raw meat? A super easy way to keep your summer BBQ safe and smooth is to fill the sink with hot soapy water and wash all plates and utensils in between the raw meat stage and the grilled meat stage. If you prep your sink ahead of time it will take just a few minutes during grill time.
Keep your meat, fruits, and veggies separate. Even if you are grilling both, better safe than sorry. Keep them on separate plates before and after grilling. Cross contamination can be just as dangerous. That grilled pineapple may seem safe but not so safe when it has meat residue on it.
It is recommended that hamburger be cooked to at least 160 degree. Just because it looks done doesn’t mean it IS done. Meat thermometers take the guess work out of grilling meat.
You know the whole “it can sit out three hours” when it comes to picnic foods? Not so fast. It actually is recommended you don’t leave food out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperatures are over 90 degrees, that time gets reduced to 1 hour. Think you’ve been fine all this time? So did every one else who has ever suffered from food poisoning. It might not end up being you but what if it was?
So now, what are you waiting for? Go get that summer picnic planned and have some finger linking BBQ on the menu. Just remember to practice these 4 steps to food safety.
This campaign has been brought to you by the Food Safe Families campaign (a partnership of the USDA, CDC, FDA, and Ad Council). I was not compensated in any way for this campaign but I wouldn’t wish food poisoning on my worst enemy.
Have a great BBQ!
Here are some of my favorite picnic/BBQ recipes –
Tangy Potato Salad (Gluten-free)