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How to Grill Safely

Food Poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. Follow these steps for a safe and enjoyable grilling season.

1. Separate

When shopping, pick up meat, poultry, and seafood last, right before checkout. Separate them from other food in your shopping cart and grocery bags. To guard against cross-contamination, put packages of raw meat and poultry into individual plastic bags.

2. Chill

Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. When transporting, keep below 40 degrees F in an insulated cooler.

3. Clean

Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wash work surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking.

4. Check your grill and tools

Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking. Wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes may dislodge and stick into food on the grill.

5. Don’t cross-contaminate

Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices, which can spread germs to cooked foods. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill.

6. Cook

Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs. When smoking, keep temperatures inside the smoker at 225 degrees to 300 degrees f to keep meat a safe temperature while it cooks.

• 145 degrees – whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand time of 3 minutes at this temperature)

• 145 degrees – fish

• 160 degrees – hamburgers and other ground beef

• 165 degrees – all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs

After Grilling

• 140 degrees or warmer until it is served.

7. Refrigerate

Divide leftovers into small portions and place in covered, shallow containers. Put in the freezer or refrigerator within two hours of cooking (one hour if above 90 degrees outside)

When warm weather hits there is nothing better than the smell of food on the grill. Seven out of every ten adults in the U.S. has a grill or smoker, which translates to a lot of tasty meals.

Grilled Peach Sundae

Grilling the peaches brings out the sweetness of the fruit. Choose firm slightly ripened peaches for grilling.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced in half

• 1 cup low fat vanilla Greek yogurt or frozen yogurt

• 4 tablespoons slivered almonds

• 4 teaspoons agave nectar or honey, used for drizzling

Directions:

1. Heat grill. Wash and slice peaches in half and remove pits. Brush with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill. Grill for 4 minutes.

2. Remove peaches. Place 1 slice in a small bowl and top with ¼ cup of yogurt, almonds. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.

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