The Fourth of July celebrations may return to normal for Americans as coronavirus cases in the U.S. fall and more than half (57%) of American adults are fully vaccinated. Typical holiday celebrations come with fireworks, barbecues and lots of food.
Some food experts are warning Americans not to let the excitement of the holidays distract them from food safety protocols. Bacteria, food poisoning and poorly cooked meals can easily ruin a holiday.
“Fees of food-borne diseases tend to increase during the summer months because germs grow faster in warmer and wetter weather. People also cook and eat out, making food security cuts tempting because they are far away. from the comfort of soap and running water to the kitchen sink, “said Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Secretary for Food Safety, in a press release.
More than half of Americans (57%) plan to grill or barbecue over the holiday weekend – more than those who plan to travel, watch fireworks from home, or attend public events or festivals. according to data and Numerator technology market research firm. It surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in June.
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The excitement for cooking is so great that despite the COVID-19 vaccination status, Americans want to open fire. Even more people surveyed who said they would not get the vaccine plan to grill (60%) compared to those who were vaccinated (55%), the survey found.
At rallies, those who are not vaccinated should make a safety plan, Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said recently. “If you have not been vaccinated, our guideline has not changed for you. You remain at risk of infection. You still need to disguise yourself and take other precautions.”
How should I prepare and cook meat?
Beef and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 ° F while steaks and roasts should be cooked to at least 145 ° F and left to rest for three minutes after removing from the grill. To prevent any mistakes, use a food thermometer to check that your hamburgers or steaks are cooked at a temperature that will help avoid foodborne illnesses from bacteria like E. coli.
When frying raw meat, there are many steps you can take to avoid food poisoning, especially with E. coli, which can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps three to four days after exposure – and potential failure. of kidneys in children under 5 years of age and in the elderly, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Frying really does make it appear many times before it is completely done,” USDA food safety expert Meredith Carothers said in a recent remark about baking mistakes on July 4th.
Do not reuse marinades that have been used with raw meat. If you are preparing kabob for the holiday, keep the meat and vegetables separate. Veggies cook faster than meats, so put peppers, onions and carrots on separate sticks.
How can I practice cleanliness?
When grilling, use special dishes and utensils for raw and cooked meats and ready-to-eat foods, such as raw vegetables, to avoid cross-contamination. If you use a dish to extract meat, do not use it again for any other food dish until it is completely washed. Bacteria in raw meat can easily spread to cooked meat if the dish is not cleaned.
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Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after preparing meals. Also wash your kitchen counter, chopping boards and dishes after being used on raw meat.
“Do not let foodborne illness disrupt cooking – follow food safety guidelines such as hand washing, thorough cooking and checking food temperature with a thermometer,” said Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Secretary of Food Safety. Food, in a press release.
What about dishes not meat?
If you are bringing melon, potato salad or other picnic foods, use a cooler.
Keep some salads or cakes that have been served cold afterwards. Cold dishes should not be left outside for more than two hours – and only one hour if it is warmer than 90 degrees outside. If you are staying out of the house, be sure to bring a refreshing drink for these dishes.
If you’re worried about foods that will bring in bacteria, Powell suggests mayonnaise, he said egg-based spread has gotten a bad rap over the years. But “commercial mayo uses pasteurized eggs and has high levels of vinegar,” whose acid content helps control bacteria, a food safety scientist and creator of barfblog.com said Doug Powell.
No matter where or what meals you are cooking, be extremely careful of those who are most likely to be subjected to food poisoning by E. coli. Children and newborns, pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are among the most vulnerable.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda