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Grilling season officially kicked off this weekend here at the Jersey Shore. Just because you’re cooking outside doesn’t mean that there aren’t proper cooking and handling tips for food. Here are some important and helpful tips for grilling this summer, presented by NSF International – a nonprofit organization that is committed to protecting public health and safety by developing standards and certifying products against those standards. Whether you are novice or a grilling expert, these tips provide sound advice for keeping your grilling fun and safe this summer.
MEMORIAL DAY COOKING & GRILLING TIPS TO REMEMBER
Start with a Clean Kitchen: According to a swab analysis by NSF International, the kitchen sponge and kitchen sink were the germiest places in the home – items that are typically used in multiple stages of the cooking and cleaning process. Avoid cross-contamination by ensuring these items are clean by:
Placing wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes once per day and replacing them often – every two weeks or more as needed. A better option for kitchen cleaning are dishcloths, towels and rags. These items can be sanitized by washing on the clothes washer’s hot water cycle with bleach. Replace every 1-2 days.
Washing and disinfecting the sides and bottom of the sink 1-2 times per week with a disinfecting cleaner. Sanitize kitchen drains and disposals monthly by pouring a solution of one teaspoon household bleach in one quart of water down the drain. Wash kitchen sink strainers in the dishwasher weekly.
Defrost Foods Safely. Don’t attempt to defrost foods quickly by leaving them sit overnight on a kitchen counter. Use one of the following methods:
a. Option I – Place a covered food in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.
b. Option II – Defrost the food item in the microwave, but keep in mind that you must finish cooking the food immediately thereafter, as some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the microwave defrosting process.
c. Option III – If there is not enough time to thaw frozen foods, it is safe to cook foods from the frozen state. However, the cooking will take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh meat and poultry.
Practice Proper Marinating. If marinating food, marinate in a refrigerator overnight and dispose of any leftover marinade that has been in contact with raw meat. While acids in marinades can help tenderize meat, too much vinegar or hot sauce can cause meat to be more stringy and tough.
Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold. Hot foods need to be kept at temperatures above 140 F and cold foods less than 40 F. Between these two temperatures, bacteria can multiply very rapidly and reach dangerous levels in as little as two hours.
Don’t cook with your eyes; Cook with a thermometer. In order to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature, always use a certified food thermometer. Any leftovers should be put away within two hours (one hour if the temperature is over 90° F).
Avoid Cross Contamination. Since bacteria can easily spread from one food to the next via dripping juices, hands, or utensils, think ahead to avoid cross contamination. Don’t use the same utensils and plates for raw and cooked foods, and always remember to wash your hands before preparing and consuming food.
ONE winner will receive a prize pack including Grilling Tongs, NSF Certified Tupperware, NSF Certified Meat Thermometer and an NSF Apron.
HOW TO ENTER. (MANDATORY)
To enter leave a comment on this post with a tip you have for grilling.
1 – Leave a comment on the wall of my new Facebook page stating what giveaway you’re entering. (at top of sidebar)
1 – Subscribe to my newsletter. (at top of sidebar)
1 – Subscribe to my RSS feed. (at top of sidebar)
1 – Follow me on Twitter AND leave your Twitter name here. (at top of sidebar)
1 – Blog about this giveaway, including a link here.
1 – Place my button on your blog. (in sidebar)
1 – Leave a comment on any other non-giveaway post on this blog. Unlimited entries for this method of entry.
1 – Visit any of my blogs – Mom Knows It All, Val’s Views, Game Review Network and Living With Special Needs – and leave a comment on any post. Then return here and leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you read or learned there. (That’s two comments you need to leave for this bonus entry, one there and one here.) Unlimited entries for this method of entry.
1 – Visit HereAndThere.US (my Mom) and leave a comment on any post (except a giveaway post) there. Then return here and leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you read or learned on my Mom’s blog. (That’s two comments you need to leave for this bonus entry, one there and one here.) Unlimited entries for this method of entry.
Leave an additional comment for each entry you qualify for. You must have completed the first entry according to the instructions to be eligible for any bonus entries.
THE SMALL PRINT.
The winner will be selected using the “And the winner is” plugin. US addresses only please, no PO Boxes. This contest will end on Saturday 06/11/11 at 11:59 pm est. If you’ve entered any of my giveaways before then you know that only comments containing all of the requested information will be eligible for entry. The winner must contact me to confirm they wish to receive the prize within two days of my email notifying them they’ve won. Good luck to everyone!
The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This review has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.