Enjoy a Healthy and Illness-free Barbecue Season.

Tips for safely enjoying the barbecue season while practicing careful handling of raw meat, chicken, poultry, and seafood:

  • Keep these separate from other food items. When shopping, it is recommended to select meat, chicken, poultry, and seafood as the final items, just before heading to the checkout counter. Keep them separate from other food items in your shopping cart and grocery bags. To prevent cross-contamination, place packages of raw meat and poultry in individual plastic bags.
  • Prior to grilling, store these in the refrigerator. It is recommended to store these below 40F, and only take them out of the cooler or the refrigerator until your are ready to grill.
  • Remember to wash your hands before and after handling these. Additionally, it is crucial to clean the grill surface before cooking by using a damp cloth or paper towel. If you opt for a wire bristle brush, make sure to carefully examine the grill’s surface to ensure no bristles are left behind. It is possible for wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes to loosen and become embedded in food on the grill.
  • Take precautions to prevent their juices from coming into contact with other food, utensils, and surfaces.
  • Utilize a food thermometer to verify that they are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
    • When grilling, cook to:

      • 145°F—whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
      • 145°F—fish (or cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork)
      • 160°F—hamburgers and other ground beef
      • 165°F—all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
  • Within 2 hours of cooking, refrigerate any leftovers.

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