Above / Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer barbecue season and the DuPage County Health Department wants residents to enjoy the outdoor experience with knowledge of safety practices for good health.
DUPAGE COUNTY—While the aroma from barbecue grills fills the warm air, the DuPage County Health Department wants you to know the potential for food-borne illnesses increases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures can cause foodborne germs to thrive.
The DuPage County Health Department recommends following these safe-grilling tips to enjoy your favorite foods:
- Plan to be safe. When shopping, pick up meats and poultry right before you checkout. Separate raw meats from fruits, vegetables and other food in your cart. Place other food in individual plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep it clean. Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces and utensils immediately after contact with raw meat and poultry. Keep a spray bottle with water and a tablespoon of bleach nearby to wipe down surfaces and utensils.
- Groom your grill and tools. Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface. If using a wire brush, check the grill for bristles that may have come off.
- Curb cross-contamination. (Also known as “co-mingling”.) Place cooked meat on a clean plate and be sure to throw away marinades and sauces that were in contact with raw meat and poultry.
- Cook it well, keep it hot. Use a meat thermometer to be sure meat and poultry have reached recommended internal temperatures to kill any germs.
- Treat leftovers right. Refrigerate meat and poultry within two hours of cooking. Keep leftovers at 40 degrees or cooler when transporting. Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees before eating.
Now, go enjoy the grilling season! Safely.
Submitted by Don Bolger, Public Information Officer, DuPage County Health Department