Jun 30, 2022
As you plan your Fourth of July celebration, remember these 10 food safety tips to keep your barbecue free from foodborne illness:
- Clean Your Grill. Scrub the grill clean before use. No access to a faucet? Carry bottled water, soap, and paper towels.
- Defrost Safely. Thaw frozen beef, poultry or fish safely in the refrigerator, cold water or a microwave oven. Cook immediately after thawing.
- Avoid Cross Contamination. Separate raw meat and vegetables by using different cutting boards.
- Check Internal Temperatures. Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature by using a food thermometer:
- Whole cuts of meat: 145 F with a three-minute rest time
- Fish: 145 F
- Ground meats: 160 F
- Egg dishes: 160 F
- Poultry (ground or whole): 165 F
- Thoroughly Cook Frozen Meat. Although frozen products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, treat them as raw food and cook thoroughly. Products labeled as “Cook and Serve,” “Ready to Cook” and “Oven Ready” must be cooked.
- Use Food Thermometers Correctly on Burgers. Insert the thermometer through the side of patty until the probe reaches the center.
- Beware of the Danger Zone. Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 F and 140 F—a.k.a. the Danger Zone. USDA recommends that perishable food be consumed or refrigerated within two hours (one hour in room or outdoor temperatures of 90 F and above).
- Store Leftovers Properly. Divide leftovers into smaller portions and place them in shallow containers in your refrigerator or cooler.
- Keep It Cool. Pack coolers with ice bags, gel packs or frozen water bottles. Use an appliance thermometer to monitor that food stays chilled at 40 F or below.
- When In Doubt Call. For more questions about food safety before the Fourth of July, contact the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to an expert or chat live at ask.usda.gov from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Category/Topic: Health and Safety