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Summer barbecue tips

To start your summer off on the right foot, here are some useful tips to ensure food safety during the warmer months….

Defrosting
Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave the food to defrost it if the food will be placed immediately on the barbecue grill. When defrosting food in the refrigerator, keep it in a sealed Rubbermaid Premier™ food storage container to avoid cross contamination.

Marinating
Give food time to marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Use a Premier™ container to securely hold the marinating food without any spills. If some of the marinade is to be served with the meal as a sauce, reserve a portion of it in a separate food storage container.

Transporting
When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimise bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or Blue Ice® packs to keep the food at 5 °C or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car.

Cold Food Cold
Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the barbecue grill. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.

Cook Foods Thoroughly
Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a barbecue grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature.

Keep Hot Food Hot
After cooking meat and poultry on the barbecue grill, keep it hot until served at 50 °C or warmer. Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately 90 °C), on a slow cooker, or on a warming tray.

Leftovers
Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow Rubbermaid Premier™ food storage containers. Discard any food left out more than two hours (one hour if temperatures are above 30 °C).