Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella are still a concern when cooking for many people. The health department offers these tips to keep your friends and family safe.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Many people will be gathering this weekend for the July 4th BBQs, and the Knox County Health Department has tips for keeping guests safe.
Allison Rosenberg manages the Food Division of the Knox County Department of Health. Rosenberg recommends washing your hands frequently and cleaning frequently used surfaces.
“Listeria, E. coli, salmonella are always concerns,” Rosenberg said. “We are still monitoring these and trying to encourage people to follow food safety practices to prevent these from multiplying and making them sick.”
The health department is calling on people to avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw animal foods away from ready-to-eat foods.
It is also important to cook food to these recommended internal temperatures and to check with a thermometer:
- Poultry: 165 ° F
- Ground meat: 160 ° F
- Whole meats (pork tenderloin, steak): 145 ° F
- Fish: 145 ° F
Foods at room temperature can only stay there for about two hours before being refrigerated again. If the food is outside and the temperature is above 90 ° F, it should be discarded.
Rosenberg recommends thawing and marinating foods in the refrigerator overnight and avoiding thawing foods at room temperature.
“Another tip regarding foods that have been left out. We call it mixing,” Rosenberg said. “If you have a casserole dish and everyone is eating, maybe there is only a spoonful or two left, you take out a fresh casserole dish to reconstitute it and it’s the same. Don’t scrape what’s left. on the new one, go ahead and let someone enjoy it or throw it in the trash. “
Finally, avoid cooking or attending a barbecue on July 4th if you are sick.