If you are reading this, congratulations! You have made it through another long winter and are primed and ready for backyard BBQ season.
Close your eyes for a moment and think of the best times at barbecues - when family and friends gather around great food and beautiful weather. We at Jefferson County Public Health are as excited as you for summer and want to wish you the best – and safest – one possible! Let’s take a moment to review the essentials of safe food handling:
1.) Hygienic practices:
This topic should go without saying, but one of the most important things you can do is to ensure each step of your food preparation is done in a hygienic way. This includes limiting bare hand contact with foods ready for consumption, proper handwashing whenever contamination may have occurred and restricting the use of a common towel to wipe hands and surfaces.
2.) Contaminated equipment:
A commonly overlooked issue is the use of contaminated equipment for ready-to-eat foods. If a piece of equipment or a surface becomes contaminated with raw meat, do not place ready-to-eat foods on that surface until it has been properly washed and sanitized. This also includes restricting the use of a marinade that may be contaminated with raw meat as a final dipping sauce.
3.) Proper cooking temperatures:
Don’t forget to keep a probe thermometer handy to check the final cooking temperatures of your food. The chart below represents safe cooking temperatures that will ensure your food is safe to consume. Are you curious about how to make sure your thermometer is telling the truth? Simply place your thermometer in a glass of ice water that has mostly ice and only enough water to fill the air gaps in between the ice cubes. Your thermometer should read 32°F - if it does not, it’s time to get a new thermometer.
|Safe Cooking Temperatures|