Summer is here and Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer picnics, parties and sporting events. When grilling, be aware that your children can be very fascinated with not only the food on the grill, but the fire as well. Never leave your grill unattended and ensure that the gas has been completely turned off once you have finished grilling.
Food poisoning is another danger of the family picnic. Remember that foods made with mayonnaise are at the biggest risk of food poisoning. Do not allow these foods to sit out in the hot summer sun. Keep your cooler well stocked with ice and keep your cold items stocked in the ice in order to avoid harmful bacteria. Thaw your meat and poultry completely before grilling so it will cook evenly. When possible, thaw your meat in the refrigerator. Never reuse marinade that has come into contact with raw meat.
While grilling, take meat and poultry out only immediately before placing it on the grill and check the temperature with a meat thermometer, inserted directly into the center of the meat at the least cooked part. Food must reach a temperature of 140 degrees before it is safe to eat. Avoid cross-contamination of meat and vegetables by using separate cutting boards, tongs, knifes and spatulas for the meat and the vegetables. Always use a clean plate when removing food from the grill.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and picnics, but remember these food handling safety tips to keep your family safe and happy.