Uninvited bugs can spoil any picnic, but it's the bugs you don't see that will make you sick. Food borne illnesses peak in the summer time. Here are some tips on safe grilling that keep bacteria at bay.
Registered Dietitian and Director of Food and Nutrition at the Avera Heart Hospital Joanne Shearer says, "There's just some basic food safety tips you can follow when you are grilling out. It's the same food safety guidelines that you'd follow in your kitchen.
First off you need to start with clean hands. Be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds under running water with soap. Then make sure all the surfaces you are going to be using are clean. Clean with hot soapy water around the grill.
Make sure you keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. That is especially important if you have meats that are marinating in the refrigerator. Always keep that meat refrigerated then throw away any marinate that's left over.
Prevent cross contamination by using a clean plate every time and clean utensils when you are putting the raw meat on the grill and when you are removing the cooked meat from the grill. (You should be using 2 different plates and 2 different spatulas) Those meat juices on that dirty plate can contaminate your cooked meat and that can make you sick.
When you are cooking your meat make sure to use a meat thermometer especially for ground beef, those burgers, and poultry. Cook your ground beef patty to 155 degrees and chicken to 165 degrees. If you like your burgers cooked to medium rare remember you are taking a bit of a food safety risk when you do that. I personally don't serve burgers that are medium rare especially to children or the elderly just to be safe.
Lastly, refrigerate leftovers immediately after your picnic. Discard any food left out for more than 2 hours. 1 hour if the temps are above 90 degrees. The best rule of thumb: When in doubt, throw it out
Be safe this grilling season and don't let food borne illness or food poisoning ruin your family cook-out."
Questions call 877-AT-AVERA.