Put Food Safety First This Memorial Day

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 25, 2007) – Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off to the outdoor grilling season. For this reason, the Food Safety Branch in the Kentucky Department for Public Health urges everyone to follow food safety guidelines to prevent the onset of food borne illness.

Follow these tips for safe grilling:

Handle Food Safely
Wash your hands before and after handling food. Be sure all utensils and plates are clean before preparing or serving food.

Thaw Safely
Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw under cool running water. You may use the microwave for thawing, but grill immediately.

Marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Cook Thoroughly
Always use a meat thermometer to check internal meat temperatures. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. The following temperatures are recommended for home preparation of food:


Whole poultry 165 degrees F

Poultry breasts 165 degrees F

Ground poultry 165 degrees F

Hamburgers, beef 160 degrees F

All cuts of pork 160 degrees F

Beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts, chops, 160 degrees

All other meat and fish 160 degrees F

Keep Hot Foods Hot, Cold Foods Cold
Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use.

After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it at 140 degrees F or warmer.

In hot weather (above 90 degrees), food should never sit out for more than one hour.

Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers.

“Taking basic food preparation precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday,” said William Hacker, M.D, public health commissioner. For more information, please contact the Food Safety Branch at (502) 564-7181.

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