Hamburgers, brisket and lots of other things will be on the menu for the 4th of July. There’s a few rules to remember when you’re getting ready to grill food outside.
“One of the most important things to consider when cooking is that there could be pathogens or bacteria introduced into the food,” said Kevin Little, Senior Health Inspector for the City of San Angelo.
Millions of Americans celebrate the 4th of July weekend with cookouts. There are a few safety tips to keep in mind for your food to be delicious and uncontaminated.
Little says when handling raw meats, it’s important to keep your hands clean.
“Really the meats represent the biggest danger. Make sure when you handle the raw chicken or beef, you don’t take that material or slime on your hands and transfer it to something that doesn’t get cooked,” explained Little.
Bacteria can also be transferred to cooking utensils and cutting boards — remembering to clean these after any contact with raw foods is key.
If you’re going to be at a river or lake where you don’t have running water on hand, being prepared is essential.
“They make a variety of sanitizing wipes to wash your hands with. You can grab tap water and take it with you if you need to,” suggested Little.
Killing harmful bacteria is simple, as long as foods are cooked to the proper temperature.
“The best way would be to use a meat thermometer to get the internal temperature of 165 degrees,” added Little.
Little also says that you want to keep foods out of reach of any unwelcome insects.
“You want to keep flies off of your food. Flies can transfer in bacteria,” said Little.
Once your food has been cooked, you don’t want to keep it out for too long.