Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 4th Meat Barbeque Tips from USDA

Just got referred to this neat video from the USDA.

The safest way to have a nice, enjoyable eating experience is to follow their four tips:

  1. Clean
  2. Separate
  3. Cook
  4. Chill

But they go into a great deal of detail here:

In an article on the USDA site, they tell a bit more:

1. Clean: First things first – start with clean surfaces and clean hands. You and your guests should wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Equally important are the surfaces that come in contact with raw and cooked foods – make sure they are clean before you start and are washed frequently.

2. Separate: Raw meats and poultry should be prepared separately from produce and cooked foods. Use separate cutting boards when chopping raw meats and produce, as juices from raw meats may contain harmful bacteria that can cross-contaminate ready-to-eat foods.

3. Cook: Your food thermometer is the most important tool that will tell you if your food is thoroughly cooked, as color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. The safe minimum internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria in steaks, roasts, chops and fish is 145°F, while ground beef should reach 160°F. Take extra care with frozen hamburgers as these take longer to reach a safe internal temperature throughout the patties. It is important to measure the temperature in several areas of your burgers. All poultry and fully cooked meats like hot dogs should be grilled to 165°F or until steaming hot.

4. Chill: Perishable food should never sit out for more than two hours. If the temperature is above 90°F – which is common at summer picnics – perishable foods shouldn't sit out more than one hour. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly, and discard any food that has been out too long.

So -  enjoy your summer cooking with some fine Missouri Grassfed Beef – preferably some from my farm. ;)