On The Early Show on CBS, Dr. Richard Raymond of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has plenty of advice about avoiding food poisoning while cooking outdoors.
He says salmonella is the most common food-related illness. Although the number of cases has dropped, people still ignore the basics: clean, separate, cook and chill.
He outlined the four main rules:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling meat, especially poultry.
- Separate your raw meats from the rest of your food. People often take a plate of raw meat to the grill, then put the cooked meat back on the same plate.
- Cook your meat at 165 degrees. This is the minimum to safely cook meat.
- Chill your food when you’re not eating it. People often leave the potato salad out on the picnic table for hours before people get to it.
Dr Raymond also stressed that vegetable-related illnesses have been getting more common. Scientists don’t know why some veggies are more prone to bacteria than others, but, basically, people don’t realize they can get sick from vegetables being left outside or not being properly chilled.