Safe Summer Holiday Cookouts

Picnic table with grilled food items.With the summer right around the corner, families across the country will take out their grills and start spending more time in the great outdoors

We are urging everyone to remember the four simple steps to food safety –

Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill – and to steer clear of the ‘Danger Zone’ when grilling this Memorial Day weekend.

It is important to remember that bacteria grow faster in the same warm temperatures, so extra care should be taken to make sure perishable food doesn’t spend too long in the Danger Zone.

That is temperatures between 40 and 140 ˚F when perishable food spoils rapidly. Foods that should be served hot or cold should not spend more than one hour in the Danger Zone when temperatures are above 90 ˚F, and two hours when temperatures are below 90 ˚F.thermometer

300 Feet Digital Wireless Remote Smoker Cooking Food Meat Thermometer for BBQ

What is the Danger Zone?

The Danger Zone is the temperature range in which bacteria can grow faster. Bacteria can actually double in number in as little as 20 minutes when perishable food is kept in the Danger Zone. In order to steer clear of the Danger Zone, you should always:

Keep cold food, at or below 40 °F, in the refrigerator, in coolers, or in containers on ice.
Limit the time coolers are open. Open and close the lid quickly. Do not leave coolers in direct sunlight.
Keep foods served hot at or above 140 °F, in chafing dishes, warming trays, slow cookers or on the grill. You can keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.
Use a food thermometer to check the safe recommended temperatures.
Never leave food between 40 and 140 ˚F for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than one hour.

As always, we remind consumers to follow the four steps to food safety when preparing dishes for a cookout.

Clean: Make sure to always wash your hands and surfaces with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before cooking and after handling raw meat or poultry during cooking. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and work spaces with soap and warm water too. If you plan to be away from the kitchen, pack clean cloths and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

Separate: When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

Cook: Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of burgers, steaks, chicken, and foods containing meat or poultry.

Hamburgers, sausages, and other ground meats should reach 160 °F.
All poultry should reach a minimum temperature of 165 °F.
Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal, and of beef should be cooked to 145 °F as measured by a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, and allowed to rest for three minutes before eating.

A “rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens.
Fish should be cooked to 145 °F.
Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown very fast on the outside, and by using a food thermometer you can be sure items have reached a safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy any harmful bacteria that may be present.

Chill: After a cookout, place leftovers in shallow containers and refrigerate or freeze immediately. Discard food left in the Danger Zone too long.
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.

Why the Rest Time is Important

After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.

Category Food Temperature (°F)  Rest Time 
Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160 None
Turkey, Chicken 165 None
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb Steaks, roasts, chops 145 3 minutes
Poultry Chicken & Turkey, whole 165 None
Poultry breasts, roasts 165 None
Poultry thighs, legs, wings 165 None
Duck & Goose 165 None
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 165 None
Pork and Ham Fresh pork 145 3 minutes
Fresh ham (raw) 145 3 minutes
Precooked ham (to reheat) 140 None
Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs Cook until yolk and white are firm None
Egg dishes 160 None
Leftovers & Casseroles Leftovers 165 None
Casseroles 165 None
Seafood Fin Fish 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork. None
Shrimp, lobster, and crabs Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque. None
Clams, oysters, and mussels Cook until shells open during cooking. None
Scallops Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm. None

Have A Safe Holiday!!thermometer
300 Feet Digital Wireless Remote Smoker Cooking Food Meat Thermometer for BBQ