Wellness Wednesday: Summer picnic and barbecue safety

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 27, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY - Summer barbecue and picnic season is in full swing, and with Independence Day right around the corner, now is a great time to brush up on your food safety knowledge to keep your family safe. Intermountain Healthcare Executive Chef Bron Smith stopped by FOX 13 to share his top tips for summertime food safety.

Food safety starts with food prep. 

  • Wash your hands! Bring hand sanitizer to use and to share at the picnic or barbecue.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables well before cutting them to prevent food-borne illness.
  • Cut meats on separate surfaces and use separate knives than those used for other foods.

Safely transporting meat is key before it hits the grill.

  • Pack the meats separately or leave them in original packaging.
  • Always place chicken on the bottom of the cooler! You have to cook chicken to a higher temperature than other meats to kill salmonella. If salmonella bacteria gets on other meats, it won’t cook out and will make you sick.
  • Bring separate tongs for grilling and serving plates

Grilling and serving meats: It’s all about time and temperature.

  • Bring an instant-read thermometer to the grill.
  • Proper cooking temperatures:
    • Hamburger 155˚F
    • Hotdog or other processed meat 165˚F
    • Poultry 170˚F
  • Serving: Keep foods under 41˚F, or hotter than 135˚F to stay safe. Anything between those temperatures you have 4 hours to serve. After that, throw it out.
    • Use ice or ice packs to keep food cold while serving. Insulated containers with a liquid core stay frozen a long time.
    • For hot foods, use inexpensive chafing dishes with a gel fuel.