Grilling and Food Safety Tips for Labor Day.


Grilling and Food Safety are as important on Labor Day as they are on any weekend barbecue.

Ham is always great on the grill.

Ham is always great on the grill.

Grilling has become a fabulous cooking technique for an outstanding backyard get together.  Labor Day is one of the many holidays that calls everyone together for the festivities.  To get the best results, it is important that any type of grilling is done correctly and safely.

Grilling Safety Tips

  • Always position the grill on a heatproof surface away from trees and shrubbery. Make sure the grill vents are clear from ashes prior to starting the fire.
  • To avoid flare-ups and charred goods when grilling, trim meat of excess fat.
  • Keep a water-filled spray bottle near the grill to keep flare-ups under control.
  • The best method to accurately determine doneness of meat is to use a meat thermometer.
  • Never use alcohol, gasoline or kerosene as a lighter fluid starter – all three can cause an explosion. I prefer the chimney approach.
  • Hot coals create a very hot grill, grid, tools and food. Always wear oven mitts to protect your hands.
  • The number of coals required for barbecuing depends on the size and type of grill and the amount of food to be prepared.  You can always add coals to an already started grill if needed.
  • Always, Always serve cooked meats and poultry on a clean platter, not the one that held the raw foods.
Soda can chicken

Soda can chicken

It is very important to cook the meat at the correct temperature to kill all the bacteria.  Rest time is an important step in cooking some meats. (see chart below)   “Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.

I found this chart on  http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html#.

Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Use this chart and a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature.

Remember, you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats – including pork – can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.

Why the Rest Time is Important

After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.

Category Food Temperature (°F)  Rest
Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160 None
Turkey, Chicken 165 None
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb Steaks, roasts, chops 145 3 minutes
Poultry Chicken & Turkey, whole 165 None
Poultry breasts, roasts 165 None
Poultry thighs, legs, wings 165 None
Duck & Goose 165 None
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 165 None
Pork and Ham Fresh pork 145 3 minutes
Fresh ham (raw) 145 3 minutes
Precooked ham (to reheat) 140 None
Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs Cook until yolk and white are firm None
Egg dishes 160 None
Leftovers & Casseroles Leftovers 165 None
Casseroles 165 None
Seafood Fin Fish 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork. None
Shrimp, lobster, and crabs Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque. None
Clams, oysters, and mussels Cook until shells open during cooking. None
Scallops Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm. Non

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend with friends and family.  Be sure to watch for some tempting grilling recipes coming right up.  Thanks for visiting, your always welcome here.

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4 thoughts on “Grilling and Food Safety Tips for Labor Day.

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