Posted July 24, 2010

Summertime means picnics, dining on the patio and camp cooking.

But while the living is casual, no one can afford to be lax when it comes to food safety.

It’s no fun being confined to the house with a dose of food-borne illness when everyone else is outside having fun.

To keep us all healthy, here are some grilling tips from the University of Missouri Extension:

— Marinate meat in the refrigerator to keep it cool. Treat the used marinade as you would the raw meat juices it contains — that means the marinade needs to be boiled if it will be used as a sauce.

— Avoid cross-contamination. Use separate dishes to keep vegetables and cooked meat separate from raw and undercooked meat or meat juices on cutting boards, platters and cooking and serving utensils.

— Cook meats to a safe internal temperature. Check with a meat thermometer and be sure the sensor is in the middle of the thickest part of the meat and not touching bone. For beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops, cook to 145 degrees or higher. For all cuts of pork, grill to 160 degrees or more. Ground meat of any kind should be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees, and all poultry should have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

— Germs that cause food-borne illness thrive at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees and can reach potentially dangerous levels within two hours. But on a hot day over 90 degrees, that time is reduced to one hour.

For more tips, call the USDA Meat and Poultry 24-hour hotline 888-674-6854.

Find it fresh

Farmers markets have fresh fruits and vegetables, quality beef, baked goods, plants and flowers and local arts and crafts — all in your own neighborhood. For more information on the markets, including fruit stands, community supported agriculture programs and U-pick farms, visit .

New read

The book: Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovan.

Cost: $16

Best for: Easy-to-prepare, tasty foods that can be prepared on a grill, camp stove or open fire. Donovan’s secrets aren’t complicated: thought, preparation, and fresh meat, fish, vegetables and herbs. She aims high while remaining practical.

— Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; To receive a recipe via e-mail each Tuesday register at and click on newsletters. If you already are registered, click on edit account and newsletters to select Recipe of the Week. This exclusive recipe does not appear in the newspaper.


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Copyright © 2010, Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, Wash.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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