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Food Safety: At Home, on the Grill, and on the Go

Posted on: June 4, 2018

The grilling season is here, and with it comes the need to give a bit more attention to food safety. Each year, one in six Americans gets sick by eating contaminated foods or beverages. Practice basic food safety to keep you and your friends and family healthy. Follow these four steps to keep foods and beverages safe:

  1. Clean hands and surfaces to keep foods and beverages from getting contaminated. “Hand washing is an important step to take before and after cooking and eating,” said David Covell, MPH, RS, health commissioner at Lorain County Public Health. “Surfaces and utensils should also be washed after each use.”
  2. Separate fruits and vegetables from meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs to prevent contamination. “Food that is ready to eat should be kept away from raw, uncooked foods,” said Covell. “Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs should be separated from produce at all times - from the grocery store to the cutting board.”
  3. Cook food and use a food thermometer to check internal temperatures. Chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees, hamburgers to at least 160 degrees, and steaks, roasts, and pork chops to at least 145 degrees. 
  4. Chill and refrigerate foods quickly. Food left out more than two hours should be thrown out. “With temperatures heating up, foods left out in temperatures of 90 degrees or higher should be thrown away after only 1 hour,” said Covell. Make a plan when grilling to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Also, frozen foods should be thawed in a refrigerator, under cold water, or in a microwave - never on the counter.

Check for current food safety recalls at www.Recalls.gov.