Memorial Day may be the ceremonial start to the grilling season, but the entire month of May is recognized as National Barbecue Month. So before you grab those burgers and fire up the grill this month, Giant Food Stores, and Martin's Food Markets have joined with The Partnership for Food Safety Education to remind customers to Be Food Safe this grilling season and to get a safe start to summer by making sure to observe a few food safety basics: n Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water before preparing each food item and before you go on to the next food.o Never place your grilled food on a plate that previously held raw food. Take an extra platter with you to the grill! Use one cutting board for fresh produce and another one for your meat, poultry and seafood.

o Grill your food to the recommended safe internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer. You can't tell by looking. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160° F; ground turkey and chicken to 165° F. The safe internal temperature for bone-in poultry is 165° F and for steaks, 145° F.

o Refrigerate your leftovers promptly. Marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Giant and Martin's customers are reminded that consistent practice of Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill can reduce the risk of illness. If you are planning a cookout with friends and family that may include young children, pregnant women, older adults or people with weakened immune systems, it is especially important to follow these safe handling practices. About one in five Americans are at more risk than most for contracting a foodborne illness that may result in a lengthier illness, hospitalization, or even death.

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