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Always prepare food with very clean hands. Wash them thoroughly with warm soap and water before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Clean utensils and the grill before and after cooking. Be sure all surfaces, like tablecloths, are also clean and ready for hungry diners.
Use a food thermometer to ensure your food is cooked hot enough to eliminate harmful germs and bacteria. Using a smoker? The CDC recommends keeping the inside temperature at 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit while your food cooks. What are the safe temperatures for the foods we prepare? For beef, pork, lamb, and veal, the target temperature is 145 degrees. Grilling fish? Cook your seafood to a temperature of at least 145 degrees. Hamburgers and other ground meat should be grilled to 160 degrees, and poultry at 165.
Dishes like potato salad that have mayonnaise or other temperature sensitive ingredients should be served with the finished main dishes. Refrigerate the leftovers within two hours of cooking, or one hour if the outside temperatures are 90 degrees or above.
Are you hungry yet? Try these eBooks for recipe ideas: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler, Grilling for Dummies by John Mariani or for those who prefer a non-meat menu, Simply the Best Vegetarian Barbecue Recipes by Wendy Hobson. The friendly staff at the Barberton Public Library can help you select a cookbook with your favorite recipes in mind.
Enjoy the summer and the great food that comes with it. Visit local farmers’ markets for the best in local produce and meats. The vendors will happily give you menu ideas for your selections. Have a safe and delicious summer!
The Community Health Library is located on the first floor of Summa Barberton Hospital. We are just off the Central Elevators. Our hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 330-615-3105.