weather is the ideal time to cook out: more people cook outdoors
in spring and summer than any other time of the year. As we approach
summer in Houston, here is some information for food safety.
temperatures are ideal for bacteria and other harmful pathogens
to multiply and cause foodborne illness. Grill it but grill
all meat and poultry in the refrigerator maintained at 41°F
or below. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won’t be used
in two to three days; freeze other meat within four to five
days if not used.
meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly.
Use the refrigerator thawing for safe thawing. Microwave thawing
is acceptable if the food is to be grilled immediately. Thawing
sealed packages in cold water is also acceptable.
marinate meats in the refrigerator, not on the countertop.
Don’t re-use the marinade used on raw meat or poultry unless
it’s boiled first to destroy harmful bacteria.
you pre-cook partially in the microwave, do it immediately
you are catering, keep all meat and poultry refrigerated to
minimize bacterial growth. Use insulated coolers, ice packs,
refrigerated containers on trucks to ensure safe temperature.
When handling raw meats, remove from the cooler only the amount
that will fit the cooking grill.
clean utensils every time. Do not use the same platter, knives
or cutting board for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Bacteria
present in raw meat or juices can contaminate the safely cooked
and poultry cooked on a grill often browns fast on the outside.
Do not rely on the appearance, use a meat thermometer to ensure
safe internal temperatures. Poultry should reach 180°F, juices
should run clear. Hamburgers made of any ground meat or poultry
should reach 160°F. Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and
chops can be cooked to 145°F. Cook all pork products to 160°F.
partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.
hot food hot until served. Use a chafing dish, warming tray,
steam table, slow cooking pot or on the side of the cooking
grill. Do not put the container directly over heating element
to prevent overcooking.
not put cooked items off the grill on the same platter used
for storing raw meats. Keep separate platters.
it is hot outside, do not leave food at room temperature for
longer than one hour.
all leftovers in the refrigerator. For bulk meats, slice before
placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate or freeze within
two hours of taking food off the grill. If you are transporting
the cooked leftovers, be sure to place it in a cooler for
temperature control. Discard any food left out more than two
this, or any food-safety-related
information, please contact the Bureau of Consumer Health
Services at 713/794-9200.
to the Food Safety health tips page
the HDHHS Bureau of Consumer Health Services