Stop & Shop Supermarket and Community Medical Center hosted a program on safe grilling and safe summer food preparation which was attended by members of Downtown Toms River. The meal was provided by Stop & Shop and prepared by Tom Yanisko, theExecutive Chef at Community Medical Center.
Chef Yanisko addressed the issues of food contamination that can take place during summer food preparation. Bob Yaiser, the Toms River Fire Department Educator outlined precautions that need to be taken when cooking outdoors.
Food Safety Advice
- When preparing meats, marinate in the refrigerator, not on countertops or outdoors.
- Discard any sauces used to marinate raw meat. It should not be reused with cooked food later.
- The best way to know if meat is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer and check the temperature. Before removing from the grill, insert a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it does not go through to the other side. The thermometer should give a reading in about 15-20 seconds. Included below are the recommended internal temperatures for cooked meat and seafood to avoid harmful bacteria such as E. coli:
- Ground beef hamburgers – 160oF. Cooking ground beef until the pink is gone is not always an indicator of thorough cooking as it can still be pink inside and cooked to a safe 160oF. Color is not always a true indicator.
- Ground and whole poultry - 165oF
- Chops, steaks and roasts from beef, veal or lamb - 145oF for medium rare; 160oF for medium; and 170oF for well done
- Pork chops and roast - 150oF
- Fin fish - 145oF
- Shrimp, lobster and crabs – Cooked until the flesh is pearly and opaque
- Refrigerate any leftovers promptly after serving and within two hours after cooking. Food should only be outside one hour when the temperature is above 90oF.
- When in doubt, throw it out.
Grill Safety Advice:
- NEVER use a grill indoors
- Perform an annual safety inspection prior to the first seasonal use of a grill.
- Never allow children to use the grill. Create a safety zone of at least 3 feet around the grill and place the grill a safe distance from play areas.
- Place the grill at least 10 feet from combustible materials such as siding, decks or tree branches.
- Avoid burns by using proper utensils with long handles that allow the chef plenty of clearance from the heat and flames.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and accessible.
- For gas or propane tanks, check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, grease, or other debris.
- Check grill hoses and fittings for cracking, brittleness, holes, scratches, or leaks. Replace as necessary.
- Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Never use a grill indoors!
- Make sure charcoal has been completely extinguished before disposing of the ashes and storing the grill – ashes may reignite 48 to 72 hours after use.
- If using a fluid to start the charcoal grill, use only starter fluid intended for this purpose. It is extremely dangerous to use any other combustible liquid to start the coals.
- Never apply charcoal lighter starter fluid after the charcoal has been lit.