Food Safety Regulations for A Healthy Labor Day Barbecue

Sep 02, 2013 05:10 PM EDT | By Dina Exil

Labor Day celebrations are about having fun and celebrating with friends and family, but what about remaining safe. 

If you're hosting a Labor Day barbecue, remember these food safety tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Properly preparing and cooking food reduces the risk of food poisoning.

It is important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely. 

For cooks who are planning to marinate their meat, do so by placing it in the fridge and not the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to two days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to five days. 

If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. Never re-use the marinade of raw meat as sauce for the cooked meat.

When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.

Prevent cross contamination by using different plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat. If you only have one set of dishes and utensils, wash them in hot, soapy water before putting the cooked meat on the platter.

According to the Food Poison Bulletin, using a food thermometer is the only way to tell when meat is cooked properly. 

Cook meat, poultry and fish to the following temperatures: fish and whole cuts of pork and beef including steaks, roasts and chops that are not mechanically tenderized and have not been scored should be cooked to 145˚ F. 

Poultry, including whole birds; pieces, such as breasts, wings and tenderloins; and ground turkey or chicken should be cooked to 165˚F.

SAFE MINIMUM INTERNAL TEMPERATURES

Whole poultry: 165 °F
Poultry breasts: 165 °F
Ground poultry: 165 °F
Ground meats: 160 °F
Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145 °F and allow to rest at least 3 minutes.

Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).

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