How to avoid foodborne bacteria while grilling in the summer heat
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If you plan on grilling for the 4th of July, experts urge you to keep food safe.
An estimated 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses every year in the U.S. according to the CDC.
Meredith Carothers with the USDA says there are multiple steps to food safety. She says the first step is to clean.
Carothers make sure your hands, utensils, and plates you bring to the grill aren’t contaminated.
Health officials say to keep raw meats and poultry away from foods that are ready to eat.
”The plate you bring out your raw burgers to the grill on cannot be used to put your cooked burgers onto that’s called cross-contamination where the bacteria from the raw meat and poultry products can go onto the cooked foods and if you eat that, that could make you sick,” said Carothers
The USDA says to make sure you cook your food is also a safe internal temperature.
Officals say while you’re cooking or grilling, make sure your foods stay at a safe temperature too and is not out too long.
”We have what’s called a two-hour rule. That’s the amount of time you can safely leave your foods out at room temperature or in that temperature range before they start to potentially become unsafe,” said Meredith Carothers.
If cooking outside in temperatures above 90 degrees that time reduces the time to one hour before food is either unsafe or needs to go back into the refrigerator.
If you’re cooking outside, the USDA also suggests keeping your food on ice to keep it cold and out of the danger zone.
For more grilling tips, you can visit the USDA’s website.
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