Grill Without Regrets This Summer
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Firing up the grill is a great way to celebrate the summer with family and friends. Grilling is one of the simplest ways to cook, and according to registered dietitian nutritionist and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sarah Krieger, the latest grilling trend is keeping it healthy – grilling nutritious and flavorful food with cooking techniques to reduce your risk of food poisoning. Food safety is key to keeping your friends and family safe from food poisoning and if you have diabetes you are at a higher risk for developing serious illness from food poisoning.
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Food Safety At the Grill
Krieger says “Warm weather brings out not only the grills, but also bacteria –which multiply in food faster in warm weather and can cause food poisoning.”
The following tips will get you through the summer with no grilling regrets:
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- Wash hands thoroughly before, during and after food preparation. Pack moist towelettes or hand sanitizer for those moments when soap and water are not readily available.
- Scrub your grill with hot, soapy water prior to each use. Removing charred food debris from the grill reduces exposure to bacteria.
- Keep raw meats, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods; ditto for the utensils used to handle each. Pack extra color-coded plates and utensils to help prevent cross-contamination. Use different spoons and forks to taste, stir and serve.
- “Marinades can transform the flavor of food, and also tenderize the meat for a more enjoyable meal,” Krieger says. Always marinate foods in the refrigerator, never at room temperature on the counter. Cross-contamination can occur when a marinade is used with raw meat, poultry or fish, then “reused” on cooked foods. So, use a separate brush and utensils for cooked foods and set aside some fresh sauce to use on cooked food.
- Using a food thermometer is the only safe way to determine the doneness of cooked foods.
- To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, don’t leave food outside in hot weather (90°F or above) for more than one hour. Throw away all perishable foods that have gone unrefrigerated for more than an hour.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Diabetes center for more articles.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, is an award winning registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The African American Guide To Living Well With Diabetes and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Learn more about her work at http://www.constancebrownriggs.com and follow her on Twitter @eatingsoulfully