Nothing says summer-time like breaking out the the grill. Plenty of people will do so this Memorial Day weekend. So, in the interest of keeping your grilled or smoked food safe and your family and friends healthy, don't forget these important reminders.
Bar-b-quing safety actually starts at the grocery store. You should make your meat selections last right before check out, and of course, from the register, bring them directly home to your refrigerator.
Here is a complete list of the restaurants and their violations for the week ending on 5/27/04
For the rest of our safety tips, one of Lubbock's foremost bar-b-que experts, Ferlis Ellis, offered up his grill at 18th and Buddy Holly Avenue. Health inspector, Jennifer Sedia, joined NewsChannel 11 at the smokey, backyard bar-b-que and gave us some tips. She says, "When you marinate your meats, bring them out, marinate, make your cuts and store them back in the fridge. Don't keep them out."
Of course, just because you're bar-b-quing, doesn't mean handwashing is any less important. Use soap and hot water for twenty seconds and then bring out your chicken or meat." Sedia says, "Bring out an amount, a portion you're going to be grilling at the time. Don't leave meat sitting there."
Next it's time to get down to cooking. Sedia says, "You should be monitoring the temperature on your meat wtih a thermometer and make sure it's cooking at 155 degrees. That's the recommended temperature."
Of course, always use different utensils for different meats and chicken, but meat isn't all you need to worry about. Side dishes like macaroni salad should be kept refrigerated until ready to serve. Sedia says, "You don't want your potato salad, macaroni salad, items which are potentially hazardous, to get contaminated with bacteria."
A couple of other common mistakes to avoid: never leave food sitting for a long length of time at room temperature and always heat it to at least 155 degrees when re-heating. Also, never place cooked meats back on the pan you had them on when they were raw.
Perhaps most important of all.. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!