How to enjoy your barbeque without getting sick
Updated On: Jul 25 2014 08:27:35 PM HST
Nothing says summer better than food on the grill. But, nothing can turn a great barbeque into a terrible barbeque like a meal that makes everyone sick.
Just last year, the Hawaii State Department of Health reported 348 cases of Salmonella, 321 cases of the norovirus and 30 cases of E. coli.
These are illnesses that food safety experts say can be avoided with four tips.
1) Your hands must be clean - If you're barbequing outside, hand washing sinks may not be readily available.
"Families can bring a hand sanitizer to say, wash their hands before handling the food," said Erin Villanueva of the Department of Health.
No touching of raw or even cooked meats directly.
"It would be best to use utensils instead of your hands to handle the food," said Villanueva.
2) Bring extra utensils and pans - It's the number one way to prevent cross contamination.
"A lot of families will marinate the meats the night before, bring it to the park, barbeque and maybe bring just that pan they brought the marinated meats in not thinking of where they are going to put the cooked meats," said Villanueva.
Now that your hands are clean and you have enough cooking tools, you're ready to start preparing your food.
3) Use a thermometer to test if your food is properly cooked.
"They want to make sure to cook the chicken until the juices run clear," said Villanueva. "If they have hamburgers they want to make sure it's cooked through where they no longer see pink."
Here are the following temperatures you need to hit:
Beef and steaks - 145 degrees
Hamburger and ground meats - 155 degrees
Chicken and all poultry - 165 degrees
Fish - 145 degrees
4) Be sure to bring extra ice to the beach to cool these leftovers. - Food safety experts say the longer your food is outside, the more susceptible it becomes to bacteria growth.
"This is a perfect example of why they need to consume it within four hours. Some spots read 132. Other spots read 113, 112," said Villanueva.
Food safety experts also encourage you to limit the times you open your cooler. This will help your cold foods stay at a healthy temperature.
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