Health Beat 8-1-2004
Chill and Grill
Now is the season to splash in the pool, bask in
the heat and fire up the trusty barbecue. But take a moment, the
USDA cautions, to make sure outdoor cooking practices are safe.
The food agency recommends buying raw meat last when shopping,
and wrapping it immediately in plastic bags to prevent contact with
other items in your cart. Next, quickly transport meat items home
and get them into the refrigerator quickly. Freeze poultry and
ground meat that won’t be cooked within a day or two.
When marinating meat, keep it in the refrigerator not on the
countertop to prevent spoilage or bacterial growth.
And when transporting food to a barbecue, use a cooler with
enough ice to keep the temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, cook meat thoroughly on the grill, using a thermometer to
check internal temperature. (The proper temperature varies by type
of meat; call the USDA’s hotline at 888-674-6854 for details.)
If there is anything left from the feast, be sure to
refrigerate it in a hurry or discard it.