Labor Day cookouts are a blast — if you do it the right way.
A recent multi-state salmonella outbreak has prompted the New York State Department of Health to issue warnings and safety tips to make sure you don’t get your guests sick when you host a holiday barbecue.
“We want to make sure New Yorkers enjoy these celebrations while also staying healthy,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement. “Following basic food preparation safety tips is a small step that can make a big difference.”
Here are the health department’s guidelines for a successful barbecue:
• Wrap fresh meats in plastic bags at the market to prevent blood and juices from dripping on other foods. Refrigerate foods promptly, and do not keep food at room temperature.
• Keep marinating foods in the refrigerator, and don’t taste the marinate or re-use it after it comes in contact with raw food.
• Never place cooked food on an unwashed surface that previously held raw beef, poultry, pork, fish or other seafood.
• Thoroughly wash cutting boards an any surfaces after they are used to prepare beef, poultry, port fish or seafood to prevent cross-contamination.
• Wash raw meat before preparation or cooking.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after touching any raw meat. Use utensils to handle meat.
• Avoid eating raw or under-cooked meats. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is fully cooked, and make sure the food is cooked to the following temperature:
Chicken — 165 degrees
Hamburger — 160 degrees
Pork — 150 degrees
Leftovers — 165 degrees
Eggs — 145 degrees
Other foods — 140 degrees