Handling Food Safety During Summer

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2014; 3:35pm
DPHSS Release No. 2014-052

Handling Food Safety During Summer

The Division of Environmental Health of the Department of Public Health and Social Services
would like to encourage all to observe food safety practices during summer celebration meals,
picnics, and dinner festivities. Picnic and barbecue season offers lots of opportunities for
outdoor fun with family and friends, but these warm weather events also present opportunities
for foodborne bacteria to thrive. To protect yourself, your family, and friends from foodborne
illness during the summer months, it is critical that food is handled safely when eating outdoors.
So to ensure a pleasant cookout for all, it is important to follow these simple guidelines for
Grilling food safely to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness.

• Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 41°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.

• Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.

• Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter or outdoors. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food. Boil used marinade before applying to cooked food or reserve a portion of the unused marinade to use as a sauce.

• If you partially cook food in the microwave, oven, or stove to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the hot grill.

• When it’s time to grill the food, cook it to a safe internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to be sure. The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the meat and should not be touching bone, fat, or gristle. Check the temperature in several places to make sure the food is evenly heated.
 Beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts: 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium.
 Ground pork and ground beef: 160 °F.
 Poultry: to at least 165°F.
 Fin fish: 145°F or until the flesh opaque and separates easily with a fork.
 Shrimp, lobster and crabs: The meat should be pearly and opaque.
 Clams, oysters and mussels: Until the shells are open.

• Grilled food can be kept hot until serving by moving it to the side of the grill rack, just away from the coals to avoid overcooking.

• Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. Do not cross contaminate. Be sure to have plenty of clean utensils and platters on hand.

If you have more questions or concerns about food safety, contact the Division of Environmental
Health, at 735-7221 or send an email to DEH@dphss.guamdev.com website.

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