Ready, set, fire up those grills to kick start the grilling season! The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC wants to make sure your next barbecue is a safe and healthy one by keeping food safety top of mind when grilling. “In anticipation of the unofficial beginning of the summer grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, we have put together several food safety and grilling tips to remember,” said Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public and Community Relations of Stop & Shop’s New York Metro Division.
• When preparing your meats for grilling, marinate in the refrigerator, not on the countertop or outdoors. If the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food later on, set some of it aside in a separate container before adding the raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sauce used to marinate raw meat should be discarded and not reused.
• If you partially cook food in the microwave or oven to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before food goes on the hot grill.
• Wash your hands, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go onto the next food.
• Always use a clean plate and clean utensils for serving as cooked food should not be placed on the same plate that previously held raw foods, including meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.
• Don’t forget to make room for veggies and fruits on the grill too! The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars, resulting in loads of flavor without the need for added sugar, salt or fat.
• Remember to refrigerate any leftovers promptly after serving and within two hours after cooking. Your home refrigerator should be set to maintain a product temperature of 40°F or lower.
• Food should only be outside one hour when the temperature is above 90oF. When in doubt, throw it out. Leftovers should be reheated until steaming before serving.
• The best way to know if meat is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer and check the temperature. Before removing from the grill, insert a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it does not go through to the other side. The thermometer should give a reading in about 15-20 seconds. Below are the recommended internal temperatures that cooked meat and seafood should be to avoid harmful bacteria such as E. coli:
Ground beef hamburgers – 160oF. Cooking ground beef until the pink is gone is not always an indicator of thorough cooking as it can still be pink inside and cooked to a safe 160oF. Color is not always a true indicator.
Ground and whole poultry - 165oF
Chops, steaks and roasts from beef, veal or lamb - 145oF for medium rare, 160oF for medium and 170oF for well done
Pork chops and roast - 150oF
Fin fish - 145oF
Shrimp, lobster and crabs – Cooked until the flesh is pearly and opaque
During the summer months, customers see an increase in locally grown produce as the local growing season is nearing its peak. Fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, corn, melon, peaches, and peppers are just some of the items Stop & Shop features from nearby farms. PREPARATION TIP: Rinse all fresh fruit and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten and keep a separate cutting board for fresh produce to avoid cross-contamination during food preparation.
For additional grilling and food safety tips, stop into your local Stop & Shop store to speak with a meat department associate or visit www.stopandshop.com.
About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 63,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program; has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 54 of its existing stores; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com.