Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall is here and so is tailgating. Are you ready to grill like a pro?

Fall is one of the most exciting times of the year. School is back in session, leaves change colors and swimsuits and popsicles are traded in for sweaters and pumpkin-flavored everything.

But there’s another thing that gets some Americans jumping for joy in the fall: Football season! And with football season comes another fall favorite, tailgating.

When you’re building up that team spirit and grilling up some tasty football treats, you’ll want to make sure not to sicken your friends and family. Nothing puts a kibosh on fun like a nasty outbreak of food poisoning.

To keep your team healthy, plan ahead when tailgating and grilling in general:

  • Make sure any raw meat, or other perishable food, is stored properly and packaged securely to keep it fresh and prevent contamination. 
  • Bring enough plates and utensils. You can’t use the same ones for both raw and cooked meat.
  • Come prepared with all the supplies you need, including cleaning supplies, water and, most importantly, your trusty food thermometer.
By using your food thermometer when grilling meat, U.S. Department of Agriculture says you’ll be grilling like a “PRO.”

Here’s how, compliments of the Get Ready cheerleading squad:
  • Give me a P! Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, or approach from the side if grilling thinner cuts of meat, once you think it’s fully cooked.
  • Give me an R! Read the internal temperature off the thermometer after about 15 seconds. If you’re cooking steaks, roasts or chops made from beef, pork, lamb or veal, you’ll want to cook them to 145 degrees with a three-minute rest time. Ground meats should be cooked to at least 160 degrees, and whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.
  • Give me an O! Off the grill and into your mouth. Make sure you don’t reuse the plates and utensils that came into contact with the raw meat. Also, be sure to clean your food thermometer thoroughly after use.
Now you’re tailgating like a P-R-O! Goooooooo, team! 

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