As we celebrate Independence Day, many of us will fire up the grill. Unfortunately, some of us will get sick, because we’ve made some easily avoided mistakes.
Food-borne illness is not unique to meat, so start by washing all those raw vegetables with water. And don’t forget to wash your hands with water and soap each time you handle a product, so you don’t transfer germs.
Any cut of meat will have some bacteria on it. There’s no way to avoid it. Bacteria is everywhere, and most of it is harmless. If you’re grilling a steak, for example, you can safely leave it pink in the middle. The heat of the grill will kill the surface bacteria.
Hamburger, however, is different. When it’s ground up, the surface bacteria will be mixed throughout. To kill bacteria, you need to cook it more thoroughly. A pink hamburger is risky. Use a meat thermometer and cook to 170 degrees in the middle. Make sure it’s not pink and the juices run clear.
Have a happy and safe Independence Day!