Fourth of July Food Safety Tips

It’s time for grilled food and great times. A fun gathering can turn ugly if you don’t manage the menu appropriately. Warmer temperatures always increase the risk of foodborne illness. No one wants to be sick after the party, so keep yourself and your guests healthy with these food safety tips from

Are you taking food?

  • Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Frozen food can also be used as a cold source.
  • Keep cold food cold. This includes raw meat, poultry and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta or seafood); cut up fruit and vegetables; and perishable dairy products.
  • Reload the cooler. A full cooler maintains cold temperature longer than a partially-filled one. Keep your cooler out of the direct sun and avoid opening the cooler repeatedly so food stays colder longer.

Are you making food?

  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread.
  • Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook.
  • Stick it with a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures:
    • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3-minute rest time
    • Ground meats: 160 °F
    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, ground poultry: 165 °F
  • Use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items touched by raw meat or poultry to serve cooked food.

Are you hosting friends?

  • Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour.
  • Serve cold food in small portions and keep the rest in the cooler. After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served – at 140 °F or warmer.
  • Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.


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