Posts Tagged ‘cooking temperatures’

Thanksgiving FeastDo you have a holiday party in your future?  Many of us will be hosting food events for family and friends throughout the holiday season.  You don’t want to be the one to make anyone sick from your food event.  Start with simple basics.

  • Clean everything before you start.  Use a solution of 1 Tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.  Use this to clean your sink, countertops and as a sanitizer for cutting boards and other cooking utensils.
  • Next, plan your menu carefully.  Choose some items that can be safely left out of refrigeration like pretzels, crackers, baked products and fruit.  Make sure you have the equipment to keep other items hot (about 140 °F) or cold (under 40°F)
  • When shopping, pick up the perishable items (those needing refrigeration) last at the grocery store.  And, make sure this is the last stop on the way home.
  • Theeasiest way to assure your food is safe is to make sure the perishable food does not stay out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours.  A sit down meal that is served and then cleaned up is safer than a buffet style meal that stays out for hours. 
  • Keep a food thermometer handy so that you cook foods to the proper temperatures.  Color is not enough when deciding if your meat, soup or casserole is done.

o   Cook chicken to 165°F

o   Cook whole meats such as beef and pork to 145°F

o   Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160°F

o   Heat soups and casserole dishes to 165°F

o   When holding hot dishes on a buffet table keep them at 140°F

  • Finally, put leftovers away promptly, within 2 hours of serving.  When reheating them for later service, heat to 165°F.

Following a few simple rules will keep you, your family, and your friends from getting a foodborne illness this holiday season.

Reference:  USDA Blog, Cooking Meat?  Check the New Recommended Temperatures, http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-the-new-recommended-temperatures/

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewed:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, Ohio State University Extension, West Region, spires.53@osu.edu

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A man bastes meat on a barbecue grillWith fall sports comes food and tailgating.  What are the game rules for food safety?

1.       Wash your hands.  And everything else that will touch the food including dishes and utensils.  This is the most important part of your event.  Harmful microorganisms can be easily transferred from your hands to food and cause foodborne illness to occur.

2.       Bring along a food thermometer.  Cook foods thoroughly.  The color of the meat is not enough to know if it is done.  The only safe way to know if your food is done is to use a food thermometer.  Cooking food to proper temperatures ensure that harmful bacteria will be destroyed.

Food Item

Internal  Temperature

All poultry

165° F

Ground meats (except poultry)

160° F

Steaks and Chops

145° F

Hotdogs and Brats

165° F


160° F

3.       Pack several coolers.  Raw food should be stored separate from ready to eat food.  And, ice used for beverages should always be kept in a separate cooler.  Keep it cold – below 40° F.

4.       Have disposable or extra plates and utensils available so that you don’t have to reuse utensils for raw versus cooked foods.  Don’t cross-contaminate.  Raw juices from uncooked food can transfer bacteria onto cooked food if you use the same plate or utensils without cleaning them.

5.       Don’t forget to pack containers or wrap for leftovers.  Food needs to stay hot at 140° F or stay cold at 40° F to be safe.  When you are finished eating, safely package leftovers away at the proper temperatures to be safe.  Food should not set out at unsafe temperatures for longer than 2 hours.

Source:  University of Minnesota Extension, Tailgating Food Safety, http://www1.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/safe-meals/tailgating-tips/tailgating-food-safety-fact-sheet/

FDA Consumer Healthy Information, Keeping Bacteria at Bay, www.fda.gov/consumer

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County.

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salsaThe Super Bowl is not just a day for football, but also a day for parties and food.  Don’t invite food borne illness to your party.  Follow a few simple rules to keep it Super Safe.

CLEAN and wash kitchen surfaces, utensils and hands before preparing or serving food and wash all fruits and vegetables including those you plan to peel.

SEPARATE raw meats and poultry from ready-to-eat foods like fruit and vegetables.

COOK meat and poultry to the right temperature by using a food thermometer.  Cook poultry to 165°F, ground meat to 160°F, and steaks to 145°F.

CHILL raw and prepared foods to 40°F within two hours.

If food is going to be sitting out for serving, remember to keep cold foods chilled to 40°F or below and hot foods heated to 140°F or above.  Offer foods in smaller containers and put new ones out as they run out instead of putting all the food out at once.  It will stay within the temperature range and keep the food safe.  Also, offer serving spoons and small plates to reduce the opportunity for guests to eat directly from the bowls.  Don’t leave any perishable food outside the temperature danger zone for more than 2 hours.

Source:  foodsafety.gov

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension, smith.3993@osu.edu

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As summer kicks in full force more of us will be outdoors heating up the grill.  If you are like me, I don’t want to heat up the kitchen so I head outside with the food.  Some simple steps will keep your food safe.


Keep meat in the refrigerator until ready to go on the grill and then take out only food that will be put on the grill immediately.  Foods spoils quickly as temperatures rise.


Make sure you have plenty of clean utensils available for your outdoor grilling.  Never place cooked food on a platter that has held the raw food.  And, don’t forget to wash the thermometer.


Use a thermometer to check internal temperatures of meat.  Don’t rely on color.  According to USDA research, one out of every four hamburgers turns brown before it’s been cooked to the safe internal temperature.


· Whole, ground and poultry pieces: 165 °F

· Ground meats, such as ground beef and ground pork: 160 °F

· Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145 °F

allow to rest at least 3 minutes.

Finally, always refrigerate leftover food within 2 hours.  Refrigerate within 1 hour when temperatures rise about 90°F

Author:  Linnette Mizer Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension.


Food Safety Information, USDA, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/pdf/barbecue_food_safety.pdf

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