BBQ Season: What’s Really at Steak
To make the most out of grilling season, follow these tips to ensure you’re serving up a safe and enjoyable meal.
‘Tis the season for cooking, grilling, and eating outdoors to enjoying the warm weather! Yet, this time spent in the open air can present some challenges for food safety. Summer heat raises concerns as bacteria can multiply faster in warmer temperatures. Germs flourish in the summer months, resulting in an increased likelihood of contracting food poisoning. To make the most out of grilling season, follow these tips to ensure you’re serving up a safe and enjoyable meal.
While shopping, wait until the end of your trip to pick up any meat, poultry or seafood to help it stay cool and avoid it spoiling. Once you have begun preparing the food, avoid cross-contamination by separating foods accordingly, and keeping all utensils and surfaces clean. Also remember to wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat. If you are marinating your meat, remember to place it in the refrigerator rather than leaving it on the counter.
Cooking food thoroughly kills any harmful bacteria that may be present. Use a food thermometer to determine the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Hot foods should be wrapped well and served within two hours at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. When it comes to exact temperatures, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a reliable reference when deciding what is a safe temperature for specific foods to be consumed. Additionally, leftovers should be divided and placed into covered, shallow containers within two hours of cooking.
Food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food. Though symptoms may vary depending on what caused you to get sick, they typically include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea, and a fever. Symptoms may begin as soon as hours after consumption of contaminated food, or as long as days to weeks later.
Despite careful efforts, if you suspect that you or someone you know has food poisoning, contact your doctor or local urgent care center immediately. CareWell Urgent Care centers are equipped to treat foodborne illnesses and will have you back to the barbeque in no time!