May 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

BBQ, Barbecue, Barbeque; No Matter How You Spell it, The Season for Grilling is Here.

For many readers, the Memorial Day weekend included a barbecue and will be the start of many meals to be enjoyed al fresco. The Los Angeles County Health Department has some tips to make sure that you send your guests home filled with good memories – not food-borne illness.

Before you barbecue or prepare food:

– Always wash your hands with hot water and soap before and after handling any food, especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

– When marinating for long periods of time, it is important to keep foods refrigerated. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food.

– Keep raw foods, especially meat, poultry, or seafood, away from cooked foods. Do not use the same plate, tray or utensils for raw and cooked foods.

– Keep meats, salads, and other perishable foods in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. If you store your food in a cooler, keep the temperature at or below 40° F (4° C), and keep the lid closed as much as possible. Pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs to insure a constant cold temperature. Store your cooler in the shade, away from birds and animals.

– Barbecues should be pre-heated before cooking. When using a charcoal grill, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coals are lightly coated with ash.

During cooking:
-Always check the temperature of the food before you stop cooking. Use a food thermometer to make sure food has reached a safe internal temperature. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends all cooked meats and poultry rest for three minutes before cutting to ensure optimum safety and quality.

Beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts: at least 145° F (63° C).
Ground beef (hamburgers), ground pork: 160° F (71° C).
All poultry, including ground meats: 165° F (74° C).
Fish: 145° F (63° C); should be opaque and flake easily with a fork.
Shrimp, lobster, crabs: meat should be pearly and opaque.
Clams, oysters, mussels: shells should be open.

After cooking:
– Put cooked food on a clean plate or tray.

– Don’t use leftover marinade or sauce from the raw food on the cooked food.

• Keep all food covered to prevent cross contamination and to avoid attracting flies.

– Eat food as soon as it is ready.

– Leftovers should be placed in shallow containers, and refrigerated. Food may be covered when cool.

– Leftovers should be reheated to 165° F (74° C) before eating.

– Eat leftovers within two days.

For more information on food safety: www.fightbac.org.

BON APPETIT!

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