Before you whip up your favorite side dish or grab a your grilling tongs, make sure you follow safe picnic practices this Memorial Day weekend.
You should always start off by washing your hands, kitchen and outdoor cooking area.
The Summit County Health District's Dr. Margo Erme reminds those preparing meals, to wash their hands in between cooking and handling food.
Dr. Erme's Safety Tips:
- When marinating meat, do so in a refrigerator overnight. She advises you toss out any leftover marinade that has had contact with raw meat. She doesn't recommend re-using it, but if you want to, marinade should be boiled for several minutes to remove bacteria.
- Try to avoid leaving your meat out too long before sticking it on the grill.
- Use a thermometer to check the meat's temperature before you take a bite. Remember, your meat should reach 160 degrees and poultry needs to hit the 165 degree mark before its done.
- Use separate plates for raw meat and cooked meat to eliminate the possibility of contamination.
- If your dishes contain uncooked egg products and/or mayonnaise , keep your food cold. Dr. Erme recommends only leaving those items out for one and a half to two hours on ice before storing in the refridgerator again.
- How do you keep items cold?
"If I have a bowl of potato salad, then I have it sitting in a top of another bowl that had ice in it, and then I stir it up regularly so that it distributes that coolness around," Erme said.
Do you have any safety tips? Share your suggestions with us below in the comments or on AkronNewsNow.com's Facebook page.