With the long holiday weekend, many families are planning outdoor activities and packing a lunch to take along. There’s no more important time for food-safety according to Julie Albrecht with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She says common sense goes a long way in keeping you safe from food-borne illness. Cook it properly — to whatever temperature’s recommended for that type of meat. For hamburgers, for example, cook it till the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees. Medium-rare steaks should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees, medium steaks 160 degrees, chicken 170 degrees, and even hotdogs need to reach 165 degrees. A germ called Listeria affects young children even more severely than adults, and it’s one that’s found in the processed “dogs”. If the meat’s coming out of a freezer Albrecht says there are some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to thawing. The safest way to thaw is in the refrigerator, not the kitchen counter — because germs that were already in the meat already have not been killed by the freezing process. If you can’t wait a day to thaw your food, Albrecht says a microwave is an alternative, but you’ll have to move the meat from the microwave to the grill immediately. The microwave’s heating is uneven, she says, and parts of themeat will thaw, some will heat up and some parts may actually start to cook. The problem is, it won’t all cook thoroughly so the warming will encourage microorganisma to grow even faster in the meat. E-Coli and Salmonella are the two food-borne illnesses that concern specialists the most.
Related web sites:
Fight BAC Website