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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Food Safety And Barbecuing Go Hand And Hand

By Pamela Redwine

What will your holiday weekend plans include?  A trip to the lake?  Playing with the kids in the pool or just lounging around the house?  Whatever it is, I hope you will have a safe and memorable Fourth of July.  I hope that those memories will be pleasant and not something like, “remember that time I got food poisoned from the kabobs you cooked on the grill.”  

Food safety and barbecuing have to go hand in hand.  It is important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely.

From the Store: Home First

When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.  Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store.

Thaw Safely

Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.


A marinade is a savory, acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.


When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.

Keep Cold Food Cold

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

Keep Everything Clean

Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.


Precooking food partially in the microwave, oven, or stove is a good way of reducing grilling time. Just make sure that the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to complete cooking.

 Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

• Whole Poultry: 165 F

• Poultry breasts: 165 F

• Ground poultry: 165 F

• Hamburgers, Beef: 160 F

• Beef, veal and lamb (steaks, chops, roasts)            

– Medium rare 145 F

– Medium 160 F

• All cuts of pork: 160 F

 Cook Thoroughly

Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.

Keep Hot Food Hot

After cooking meat and poultry on the grill; keep it hot until served — at 140 °F or warmer.

Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200 °F, in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.

(Article Source:

Recipe of the Week
By: Pamela Redwine

Turkey Burgers

  • 1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 fresh tomato slices
  • 4 whole-grain sandwich rolls, split in half

1.    Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg white, sage, marjoram, salt and pepper in large bowl until well blended. Shape into 4 patties.
2.    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add patties. Cook 10 minutes or until patties are no longer pink in center, turning once.
3.    Place lettuce leaf, tomato slice, burger and 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce on each roll.  Makes 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: 1 sandwich
Calories 319
Fat 6g
Protein 26g
Carbohydrate 40g
Fiber 2g
Cholesterol 41mg
Sodium 669mg
Exchanges: 2 ? starch, ? vegetable, 3 lean meat
Recipe Source: Taste of Home’s Diabetic Cookbook 2006

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