Better BBQing

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June 20, 2011

Grilled burgers and franks are hot hits with the kids, but improperly prepared meat can be a prime cause of food poisoning. Follow this advice to help keep your family safe this summer.

  • Thaw meat in the fridge. Don't defrost meat or poultry on the counter-bacteria can quickly multiply at room temperature. If you need to speed up the process, use your microwave's defrost setting and then immediately transfer to the grill.
  • Use clean plates. Dishes, cutting boards, and utensils that touched raw meat can harbor bacteria, so clear them away where little hands can't reach them. Always use new dishes for cooked food and wash hands frequently, advises the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
  • Check for doneness. Keep a cooking thermometer by the barbecue to check for these safe internal temperatures: chicken or turkey breasts, 165 degrees F; hamburgers, pork, and medium steaks, 160 degrees F; medium-rare steaks, 145 degrees F.

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