SALISBURY, N.C. — As we approach Memorial Day, the biggest grilling day of the year, Food Lion is offering tips to help customers stay safe when grilling their favorite meats and poultry.
Safety tips for handling and preparing raw meat and poultry include:
- Immediately refrigerate or freeze fresh meat and poultry at 40 F or below to maintain freshness.
- Make sure meat is thawed completely before cooking. Also, be sure to keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.
- Never leave raw meat, poultry or any perishable food out at room temperature for more than two hours, or one hour at 90 F and above.
- Trim excess fat from meat to prevent fire and grease flare-ups.
- Marinate foods in the refrigerator using a glass or plastic food-safe container to keep them at the proper temperature.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat.
Safety tips for grilling meat and poultry include:
- Clean all grilling utensils and plates before you begin grilling.
- Clean cutting boards and grilling utensils in hot, soapy water between every use.
- Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables.
- Make sure your grill is hot enough to cook your food. Whether your grill is charcoal or gas, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat and poultry is thoroughly cooked.
- The USDA recommends safe minimum internal temperatures of 145 F for pork, beef, steaks and chops, 160 F for ground pork and beef and 165 F for turkey and chicken. Hotdogs should be served steaming hot.
- After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot at 140 F or warmer until it’s served. If at home, cooked meat and poultry can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200 F.
- After your food is cooked, use a new, clean plate to place the food on.
Safety tips for storing leftovers include:
- Leftover meat and poultry can be eaten safely for three to four days if refrigerated within two hours of cooking, or one hour if the temperature is above 90 F. Frozen leftovers should keep for about four months.
- Discard marinades and sauces that have come in contact with raw meat juices.
- Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for faster cooling.
- Reheat cooked leftovers to 165 F, as measured with a food thermometer.
Safety tips were provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). For a complete list of grilling safety tips, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/teach-others/fsis-educational-campaigns/grill-it-safe/grill-it-safe.
About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, now has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). For more information, visit www.foodlion.com.
For further information: Courtney James: 704-310-3768; firstname.lastname@example.org