Tuesday, March 07, 2006

BBQ Food Safety - Day 4, Better BBQ Series

If you've been reading my series of articles titled "31-Days to Better BBQ", by now you've probably spent some time thinking about what type of bbq cooker/smoker that suits your personality, goals and budget. Before we start getting into the meat of the "how-to" parts of cooking bbq, I think it will be worthwhile to review some basic food safety guidelines.

The link above provides some basic guidelines published by the FDA that should help you understand the basics of food safety. There are too many positive things encompassing the overall bbq experience to allow something as preventable as illness resulting from the lack of food safety precautions to "rain on your parade". Please take a few minutes and become familar with the guidelines. Your guests will thank you for it.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Keep food chilled below 40 degrees in the refrigerator or in an ice cooler prior to cooking.
  • Chill cooked food (leftovers) back down to 40 degrees ASAP.
  • Do not let food sit out unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
  • If marinading meat prior to cooking, do it in the refrigerator.
  • When thawing meat, it's best done in the refrigerator (thawing at room temperature increases risk and is not advised).

Read the previous article in the series.

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