Sunday, May 25, 2014
TIPS FOR SAFE BARBECUING
Barbecuing is an American tradition. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA), Memorial Day is the second most popular day for doing this. HPBA estimates that fully 57% of Americans will be barbecuing tomorrow.
In fact, barbecuing has even been a U.S. presidential tradition for decades. Barbecues have been held at the White House since Thomas Jefferson. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, hosted the first large barbecue at the White House. It featured Texas-style barbecued ribs. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, George H. Bush, and his son, President George W. Bush, continued the tradition. Since President Obama is in Afghanistan, I don’t know what is happening this year.
Tomorrow most Americans are likely to be cooking and eating barbecued burgers, steak, hot dogs, and/or chicken. Unfortunately, many are also likely to get sick afterwards, because they or their hosts did not follow safe food practices.
Here are a few tips to stop this happening to you.
• Marinate any meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Meats such as beef, veal, pork, chops and steaks can be marinated up to 5 days before cooking. Poultry can be marinated up to 2 days before.
• If you plan to use some of the marinade to put on the cooked meat, remember to reserve a portion of it before putting it on the raw meat or poultry. If you forget to do it, then first boil the marinade you used on the raw meats to kill any bacteria.
• If you are going to take your meat to some other place for cooking, or, if it is to sit outdoors for a while before placing on the barbecue, make sure you keep it cool (at 40 degrees F or cooler). If you are using a cooler for this purpose, keep the cooler out of the sun.
• Have two sets of platters and utensils – one set for the raw meats, and the other for cooked ones.
• Make sure you don’t let raw meats touch any other food items which are not going to be cooked, such as salads.
• Cook the meat or poultry thoroughly to destroy dangerous bacteria: beef, veal, steaks to 145 degrees F, poultry and hot dogs to 165 degrees, and hamburgers to 160 degrees. Once you start barbecuing, don’t stop and finish later – that is asking for bacteria to grow.
• Once the meat is cooked, keep it hot until served (at 140 degrees F or warmer).
Enjoy your Memorial Day barbecue,