Ways to prevent food-borne illnesses during holiday picnics

Make sure to avoid these common grilling mistakes to ensure a successful Memorial Day cookout. (Ben Sutherland/Flickr Commons CC BY 2.0)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The 4th of July holiday is here and cooks including Adam Zynda from Zynda BBQ and Smoke Shack will be firing up the grill with dogs, burgers, chicken and vegetables.

Before you marinate, there are a few quick and easy safety steps you must take to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Jennifer Holton from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) say you must first wash your hands, especially when handling raw meat and vegetables.

Warm and soapy water is recommended to clean your hands, cookware and utensils.

According to the MDARD, it’s just as important to separate raw items from cooked food to prevent cross contamination.

“What you don’t want to have is say your raw chicken and your raw vegetables unless you’re putting them on a skewer to grill collectively,” says Holton.

“You don’t want to take those same vegetables, put them on the same plate as your raw chicken and then cook them separately.”

Holton says it’s also important to use a food thermometer to make sure your meat is cooked thoroughly.

Experts also say food should be put back in the refrigerator if it’s been out for two hours or more to prevent contamination.

To sum it all up here’s a quick reminder: wash, separate, cook and chill.

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s