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Food Safety for Summer Grilling

River Valley
River Valley

Warm weather is a sign to fire up the outdoor grill.

River Valley District Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent Kaitlin Moore says knowing some basic food safety principles will help to keep the party fun for all.

When it comes to food safety, the No. 1 thing to start with in any kind of cooking situation is washing your hands.  Moore says it’s your first line of defense against foodborne bacteria.

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Additionally, Moore says you should keep raw meat on one plate, and cooked meat on a separate plate.  Also, keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods, such as salad and fruit.

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If bacteria is present on meat, it can survive unless the meat is properly cooked.  Use a food thermometer to keep your food safe to eat.

Steaks, roasts, chops and fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F; ground meats, including beef, pork and lamb, should be cooked to 160 degrees F; and all poultry products should be cooked to 165 degrees F.

Watching those temperatures is not just for food safety, but it can also be a good quality indicator, too.  Moore says it will ensure that you're not over-cooking your food.

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As outdoor temperatures get warmer, Moore says it becomes even more important to keep food chilled.  A good rule of thumb is to get food back in the refrigerator or ice chest within two hours.

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For more safety tips, you can contact Moore at (785) 243-8185 or email kaitlinmoore@ksu.edu.