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Food Mistakes That Ruin a Summer BBQ

By Sara Butler

When the weather is nice there's nothing quite like cooking outdoors on your grill. It's even more fun to invite others over to share a little summer BBQ with you. The problem is that keeping food outside in the heat safely can be an issue and many people make some serious food safety mistakes without even realizing it. Here are a few things you should commit to memory for your next cookout to help keep the food safe for everyone involved.

Cooking Meat Ahead of Time

If you think that it's a good idea to partially cook the meat on the grill before party time and then finish it off, then you may be in for an unpleasant experience! Partially cooked meat isn't cooked to the right temperature to kill bacteria. Keeping meat at a lukewarm temperature will promote the growth of bad bacteria that can make you ill. Food kept at temperatures in the "danger zone" between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for as little as 20 minutes poses a danger to your health.

Defrosting Food the Wrong Way

It may be tempting to defrost frozen food outside on a hot summer day, but it's a bad idea. As it warms up, it will enter the danger zone - and no food should be left out in the danger zone for more than a couple of hours. Always make sure frozen food is defrosted in the refrigerator, not on your counter or outdoors.

Leaving Salads Out Too Long

People love to pair their burgers and hot dogs with creamy salads in the summertime, like potato salad. The problem is that these creamy salads are often made with mayonnaise, which can easily grow bacteria when left out for too long in the heat. Never leave any mayonnaise-based salad out for more than one hour or bacteria will thrive and can make everyone sick.

Neglecting to Wash Fruit and Vegetables

You often hear about outbreaks of sickness caused by E. coli and the source of those outbreaks is usually raw fruits and vegetables. That's why you always want to wash fruits and vegetables before adding them to your buffet since it'll help to wash off dirt and minimize bacteria. Wash your produce under water and lightly rub to remove any surface dirt. If you then peel it, wash it again to help keep any contamination from the peel off the surface.

Summer cookouts are supposed to be fun. Help them stay that way by keeping your food safe.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio.

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