One of our favorite activities in the summer is to throw some meat on the grill. In fact, July is National Grilling Month.
In this week's Eye on Health, Carla Burbidge has a few meat safety tips to know before you fire up the grill.
Our favorite chef in the KX News Room is Gaylen Ness, he is known for his cooking all around town, and grilling is one of his specialties. To celebrate the holiday, he treated the newsroom staff to hotdogs and hamburgers.
Gaylen Ness, "I have learned to put a dimple in the paddies, so that the edges of the burger don't curl"
Grilling this time of year is a tradition for many of us But since harmful bacteria is not welcome at a picnic, you need to keep a few safety points in mind.
Gaylen "I pre-heat the grill to 500 degrees, that keeps the grill clean and kills the bacteria"
If you don't cook meat at a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria, it can lead to vomiting stomach cramps and diarrhea.
The aroma of the meat becomes tempting, but make sure you check the temperature of the meat before you take it off the grill.
NDSU Extension agent Ellen Bjelland says a meat thermometer is a must. Steaks should be 145-degrees at least, that is considered medium rate. And burgers are another matter. They need a higher temperature.
Ellen Bjelland, "burgers are ground meat, so there is more bacteria, get them to 160-degrees"
And she says if the patties are different thickness, don't check just one, but several of them.
Another important tip: clean plates and utensils. Once uncooked meat has touched a plate, wash it, or use a different plate. The next rule has to do with cleaning up.
Ellen " the 2-1 rule, two hours if reasonable temps, if it is above 90- make sure you put that food away as soon as possible"
All of us thoroughly enjoyed Gaylen's afternoon at the grill. For your picnic, keep in mind: clean hands, and utensils, well cooked meat, separate foods so that bacteria doesn't spread, and promptly clean-up. Nobody wants a nasty case food poisoning. For Eye on Health I'm Carla Burbidge