Cooking with friends and family over the summer is a fun activity for everyone. It’s important to know how to prepare everything you’re eating in a way that’ll keep it safe to eat. Below are some tips to help you make sure that your food doesn’t cause any sort of illness at a get-together.
While most people check the color of their food to see how well it’s cooked, a much better way to check is by using a thermometer. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell how much you should cook a piece of meat before it’s safe to eat, but using a thermometer takes all of the guess work out cooking.
If you’re having a cookout and you’re grilling meat products or you have other perishable goods out, make sure you’re keeping them out no longer than 2 hours. If the temperature outside is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, then food should be left out for only about an hour. As the outdoor temperature increases, so does the risk of bacteria growing in foods like meat, dairy products, and shellfish, so it’s best to keep track of how long food stay out.
Many types of produce may have bacteria on the outside of them that they can spread to the other foods you in your fridge. Make sure you rinse all of your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before preparing them for meals or storing them in a refrigerator.
If you’re cooking with raw meat, always wash your hands and counters after handling it. You should be washing your hands whenever you touch raw meat, eggs, or fish. Remember to use warm water and antibacterial soap so that you don’t spread any bacteria around when you’re touching the other food you’re preparing for a meal.
When preparing raw meats on the grill, be sure to switch out plates and tools that have touched raw meats when you’re working with cooked meats. If you’ve used a spatula to transfer raw meat to the grill, wash it with dish soap or switch it out for a different one when you go back to flip it.