OSU News Feed –
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and with warmer weather
on the way, many Oklahomans will be firing up their grill and celebrating with cookouts,
picnics and other activities.
Summer is typically a time of creating fun-filled memories and delicious meals; however,
if the meal is not prepared properly, it could be a source of foodborne disease, said
Ravi Jadeja, food safety specialist for Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr
Food & Agricultural Products Center.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service,
foodborne illness peaks during the summer months, as harmful bacteria tend to grow
faster in warmer, more humid weather.
“Food safety isn’t just for food manufacturing plants; it is important for consumers
to be mindful of food safety in the home as well as preparing meals away from the
home,” Jadeja said. “Using good food-handling practices and cooking foods to proper
temperatures are just a couple of reminders to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.”
FAPC suggests the following food safety tips when celebrating this Memorial Day weekend.
Preparing foods for the grill
Completely thaw meat and poultry in the refrigerator before grilling, so it cooks
Never thaw raw meats on a countertop or in a sink. Thawing at room temperature increases
the risk of bacteria growth at the surface of the meat, even though the interior may
still be chilled.
Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter, where bacteria can multiply.
Discard leftover marinade. Do not use it on cooked foods as a dressing or dipping
sauce because it could contain bacteria.
Do not use the same utensils, platters and basting brushes for both raw and cooked
meat. Juices from the raw meat may contaminate cooked food.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing any food product.
Cooking food on the grill