Summer is the Time to Grill

Memorial Day is a day for honoring the men and women who have died while on duty with the US military and it is a day where Americans across the country pay their respects.

In Panama City Beach, Florida, Memorial Day is often known as the start of the Summer & grilling season. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 56% of grill owners plan to fire up the grill.  

Summer barbecues might feel a little more normal than last year as U.S. coronavirus cases drop and 50% of American adults are fully vaccinated.  As Florida becomes a hot spot for 2021 travel, you will find many locals and tourists spending the day at Shell Island or near St. Andrews State Park.

If you plan to spend your summer beachside or at home by the pool, we want you to stay safe this summer by sharing some go-to grilling tips! 

Grilling safety tips for your cookout

Cook meats to a safe temperature. Use a food thermometer to check that your burgers or steaks have been cooked to a temperature that will help prevent foodborne illnesses from bacteria such as E. coli. Ground beef and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (70˚C). Steaks and roasts should be cooked to at least 145°F (62.6˚C) and allow to rest for three minutes after removal from the grill. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a chart showing the safe cooking temperatures for foods.

Marinated no-no. Don't reuse marinades that have been used with raw meat.

For kabobs, keep meat and vegetables separate. Put peppers, onions, and carrots on separate sticks because veggies cook faster than the meat, and you don't want your meat undercooked.

Don't use the same plates or utensils. Whatever dish you bring the meats to the grill on should not be used to take them up, unless it's cleaned thoroughly. That's because bacteria from the raw meat can spread to the cooked meat. Have a clean plate or platter and clean utensils to take up food.

Practice cleanliness. You should wash your hands after preparing meats. Also wash your kitchen counter, cutting boards, and utensils after they are used on raw meats.

Beyond meat. Keep chilled certain salads or desserts that were served cold. After being served, cold dishes should not stay outside for more than two hours – and just one hour if it is warmer than 90 degrees outside. Beyond that, toss it.

Special attention is needed. Some are more likely to succumb to food poisoning from E. coli; children and newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems are among those more susceptible.

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