Grilling this weekend? Here are some food safety tips to help you out

Ah, the long weekend. You’ve earned it.

Monday is Memorial Day, which marks a time to remember those who died serving in the U.S. military.

Always the last Monday in May, many have the day off from work and mark it with family gatherings, barbeques and parades.

Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1971, but had been celebrated since the Civil War as Decoration Day.

To keep your Memorial Day gathering chow safe, check out a few food safety tips:

  • Marinating meat should be kept in the fridge. If using some of the marinade as a sauce, save some before adding the meat. Once it’s mixed with raw meat, it must be cooked before it is consumed.
  • Cook meat thoroughly. And yes, use a meat thermometer. Meat should be cooked to the following temperatures according to type:
    • Ground beef (a.k.a. hamburgers) to 160°F.
    • Poultry to 165°F.
    • Beef steaks, pork and lamb to 145°C.
    • Hot dogs to 165°F.
    • Avoid cross-contamination. Don’t put cooked meat onto the same plate as raw meat . Likewise, don’t use utensils used to prepare raw meat on cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
    • Don’t leave food out for more than two hours (cut that time in half if it’s more than 90°F).
    • Keep cold foods cold. Have coolers and ice on hand.

For more tips, check out the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s grilling safety tips here.

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