(KUTV) The last thing anyone wants with their barbeque is a side of food borne illness. To avoid this, start by taking steps to prevent bacteria from growing. This means storing foods at the right temperatures and cooking foods to the right temperatures.
Chicken, whether it’s ground or whole, needs to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
“If you’re looking at things like beef and pork, you want to get it to at least 160 and things like fish you can get up to 145 and higher,” says Ali Spencer, a registered dietitian at Intermountain Medical Center.
Be sure to always store your food in a timely manner. Whether you’ve cooked the food or bought it from the grocery store, you’ve got to get food put away and in the fridge within two hours. Temperatures over 90 degrees mean food needs to be put away within one hour.
“Bacteria is growing in that temperature danger zone of 40-140 degrees. So you want to minimize the amount of time that it’s in that zone,” says Ali Spencer.
Cold foods like green salad or pasta salad also follow the same rules. You want to store those foods out of the danger zone and keep them under 40 degrees.
Avoid spreading bacteria by always keeping raw and cooked foods separate. This means using separate plates, separate utensils, using different marinades, and changing out your tongs. Save wood cutting boards for those breads, fruits, and veggies.
“For raw meat I definitely make sure people use a plastic cutting board that they can stick in their dish washer,” says Ali Spencer.
Finally, remember to frequently wash your hands!