When you don your apron and fire up the grill, do not forget your most important weapon in your food safety toolbox—the food thermometer. Proper cooking temperatures kill food borne bacteria. Despite what many people believe, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown quickly and may appear done on the outside, but still may not have reached a safe minimum internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. The food thermometer provides an accurate reading of internal temperature. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat to take a temperature reading.

Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures include:

Hot dogs—165 °F or until steaming hot,
Poultry—165 °F,
Ground beef and other ground meat—160 °F,
Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal and beef—145 °F (followed by a three-minute rest time), and
Fish—145 °F.

Remember to place cooked meats on a clean platter, not on the dish that held the raw product. The juices left on the plate from raw meat can spread bacteria to safely cooked food.

Filed under: Safe Handling Procedures

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