Tips to prepare your burgers, chicken, and hot dogs safely
With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, people all over the country are stocking up on charcoal and filling their propane tanks in preparation for another cookout season. As Americans begin to focus on spending more time outdoors and grilling meals with family and friends, it is important to ensure that grillers are also taking the necessary steps to ensure food safety this season.
As you kick off the summer grilling season, keep your food safe by remembering these four steps: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Be sure that you start with clean surfaces and clean hands, and remember to separate raw meat and poultry from your veggies and cooked foods. Also, the most import tool you have at your grill is your food thermometer. Before you take your burgers, hot dogs or chicken off the grill, check the temperature (click here for temperature recommendations). Read more »
AMS Poultry Program employees Mark Perigen (left) and Gerald Brockman (right) prepare filet mignon on a tailgate-style grill. They prefer a charcoal grill because of the smoky taste it offers. Photo courtesy Mark Perigen
April showers have passed and barbecues are in full bloom. Perfect weather and longer days make the month of May the perfect time to celebrate National Barbecue Month. Whether you think barbecuing requires gas or charcoal, or that ribs should only be parboiled, or if you insist that asparagus must be sautéed with olive oil, it is time to fire up the BBQ.
Quality matters when it comes to barbecue. The graders at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certify that meats and other products are of a desired quality. Our grades account for factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. These are major selling points for any good barbecued foods. When shopping for meats, you can easily identify the USDA grade on most packages. Read more »
The mercury is rising as we near the 4th of July weekend, and so are opportunities for foodborne illness. To ward off the potential food disasters that large gatherings, sweltering heat, and high humidity can combine to create, FSIS is taking a new approach to getting its Be Food Safe message to consumers before the summer’s hottest holiday begins.
On Thursday, July 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET, FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline Manager Diane Van will host a live “Summer Food Safety Chat” on USDA’s Facebook page. With over 8,000 fans and popularity among consumers of all ages and backgrounds, the USDA’s Facebook page will serve as our platform to let consumers ask our expert what they want to know about shopping, preparing and grilling for the 4th of July.
We hope this chat will be succesful in engaging consumers in our food safety education efforts, and we hope it will be successful in reducing instances of foodborne illness this Independence Day. To join, simply log in to your own Facebook account, become a fan of the US Department of Agriculture, and ask away! Invite your friends—Facebook ones and real ones alike—and make sure they know to join as well. Until then, we suggest following our Twitter feed, where you can’t ask us questions, but you can get short, timely notices of FSIS recalls, other news, and seasonal food safety tips.