July is noted for its hot, summery days with occasional afternoon rain showers, summer break for school educators and children, and the celebration of America's independence. It is also known as National Grilling Month. Along with finding the perfect grills and foods for your barbecue, there are important safety tips for handling food.
The National Day Calendar lists important tips, opens a new window for grilling foods:
- Wash hands before handling foods. If water isn't available, use hand sanitizer.
- Keep food cold until you are ready to grill to discourage the growth of bacteria
- Don't mix raw and cooked foods. Use a clean dish to place cooked foods from the grill. Raw foods can contaminate cooked foods.
- Keep hot foods warm to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until you are ready to place them in a cooler with ice or refrigerator to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- For cold foods and salads, keep these in the refrigerator after preparation. If a refrigerator isn't handy, place these items in an ice-filled cooler.
It is also important to note that foods that contain dairy products, eggs, and mayonnaise should be kept chilled because of the growth of bacteria in a warm setting. Following these tips will ensure that your barbecue is not only delicious and satisfying, but also free from possible food contaminants.
A sample of barbecue and grilling cookbooks available through the St. Tammany Parish Library.
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