The smell of barbecue, happy picnics with family and friends, pool parties with hamburgers and fresh veggies all evoke the essence of summer and true Americana. We dream about it all year long and celebrate when the season of sunshine and outdoors has finally arrived!
Did you know that the summer months tend to see a large increase in incidents of food poisoning because the warm temperatures cause bacteria to multiply faster? According to new research just released by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), nearly two-thirds of Americans are not using a food thermometer regularly to check the temperature of meat and poultry. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so important to remind families about food safety when heading out to the grill this July 4th!
We are teaming up with theÂ Food Safe FamiliesÂ campaignÂ (an effort on behalf of the USDA, FDA, CDC and the Ad Council) to spread knowledge and awareness of the â€œFour Steps to Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill,â€ for the summer season. 4 Steps to Food Safety:
- Clean:Â Make sure you clean all utensils, hands, and surfaces with soapy water. If youâ€™re going to be outside, using a moist towelette is a good idea.
- Â Separate:Â Donâ€™t put meat items back on the same plate you used for the raw meat! Make sure you bring two plates for grilling and separate raw meat from fruits and veggies.
- Cook:Â Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 Â°Fahrenheit before serving. Remember, just because itâ€™s brown doesnâ€™t mean its safe, use a food thermometer every time.
- Chill:Â The general rule is to never let food sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours, but once the temps reach 90 Â°Fahrenheit, thatâ€™s reduced to 1 hour.