Fourth of July is all fun and games — until someone gets food poisoning! OK, while that may not be your biggest concern this holiday, don't forget food safety when making salads and moving meat from the kitchen to the 'cue. Here are a few important rules to remember.
- Clean your plates. If you transport raw meat to the grill on a platter, be sure to wash the platter before plating up the cooked meat or swap out a clean one.
- Keep separate cutting boards. Don't use the same cutting board for raw meat that you do for other foods, and be sure to wash rigorously anything that comes into contact with the raw stuff.
- Take the temperature. Use a meat thermometer to determine when you meat is cooked: the FDA recommends a temp of 160°F for ground beef and 165°F for poultry.
For tips regarding the nonmeat part of the meal,
- Wash the produce. Even if you're grilling the veggies, be sure to rinse them thoroughly and give potatoes and root veggies a scrub with a brush.
- Opt for loose lettuce. Avoid potentially contaminated bagged produce and go for heads of lettuce instead. Better yet, discard the outermost layers before washing.
- Mind the mayo. Don't leave mayonnaise-based salads like potato salad out for more than two hours or, if it's above 90°F, an hour.
- Put it away. Refrigerate any leftovers within two hours of eating.