Calling all grill masters! With the 4th of July holiday, you’re probably looking forward to enjoying a star-spangled BBQ with friends and family.
But remember, grilling outdoors can sometimes lead to unwanted food poisoning.
This year, one in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness). Food poisoning can affect anyone who eats food contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, or other substances. Some groups of people – such as older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems – have a higher risk of getting sick from contaminated food. And if they do get sick, the effects of food poisoning are a lot more serious.
Join us this summer in practicing food safety by “Grilling Like A Pro” using a food thermometer. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is reminding us all that we can’t see bacteria on our burgers, hotdogs, and other meats and poultry; checking the internal temperature is the best way to ensure protection.
So what does it mean to grill like a PRO? Read on to learn three easy steps for safe summer sizzling:
P—Place the Thermometer!
Think your food is ready? Make sure by checking the internal temperature. Find the thickest part of the meat (usually about 1.5 to 2 inches deep), and insert the thermometer. If you’re cooking a thinner piece of meat, like chicken breasts or hamburger patties, insert the thermometer from the side. Make sure that the probe reaches the center of the meat.
R—Read the Temperature!
Infographic of how to use a food thermometer on meat and poultry
Follow these 3 steps for safe grilling
Wait about 10 to 20 seconds for an accurate temperature reading. Use the following safe internal temperature guidelines for your meat and poultry.
Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3-minute rest time
Ground meats: 160 °F
Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F
O—Off the Grill!
Once the meat and poultry reach their safe minimum internal temperatures, take the food off the grill and place it on a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Also remember to clean your food thermometer probe with hot, soapy water or disposable wipes.
Now show us! As you continue your countdown to Independence Day, upload photos of your PRO food thermometer skills with the hashtag, #GrillingLikeaPRO.
For more information about food poisoning, who’s at risk, and how to keep food safe from bacteria, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov.
Planning an outdoor BBQ? Learn 3 steps to #GrillingLikeAPRO this summer w/ a food thermometer.