Food Safety

Grilling outdoors on a sunny Saturday afternoon with family and friends is meant to be fun and enjoyable. A sure fired way to put a damper on the fun is to prepare undercooked food that results in your guests getting sick.

In order to avoid such a catastrophe, it's very important to monitor the temperature of your cooked food. This makes an instant read meat thermometer a must have item for grilling. They are not expensive and are readily available at the super discount home stores. Used towards the end of grilling process, you insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat you are cooking. Avoid any bone or fat to ensure an accurate reading. You also need to clean your thermometer throughly before and after each use to avoid cross contamination. There are many types of thermometers including probe type that continuely monitor temperature during the entire cooking process.

No matter what type thermometer you use, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions for use and refer to the USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures listed below for minimum safe cooking temperatures.

  • Steaks and large beef cuts - 145°F
  • Pork - 160 °F
  • Fish - 145 °F
  • Ground Beef - 160 °F
  • Egg Dishes - 160 °F
  • Chicken Breasts - 165 °F
  • Whole Poultry - 165 °F

Remember, just because a hamburger looks fully cooked and in brown in the center does not mean it has reached a safe temperature. The only safe way to tell for sure is to use a thermometer. Also, once cooked, you should refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours or sooner if posible.