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Everyone loves to cook and grill out in the summer. Around the 4th of July families and friends get together and enjoy each other's company. We just want to make sure that you are safe while having your grill-outs and parties. Here are some good tips on safety this season. 

From the Store: Home First
When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.

Plan to drive directly home from the grocery store. You may want to take a cooler with ice for perishables. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F.

At home, place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won't be used in 1 or 2 days; freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.

Keep Everything Clean
Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

If you're eating away from home, find out if there's a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

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

MEATS
Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

GROUND MEATS
Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

POULTRY
Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.

Serving the Food
When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour.

There's a few food tips for you as the 4th of July approaches quickly. We want to make sure that you have a fun, safe, and great day. If you want to make sure that you will be protected all around, then stop in and ask for a home quote today. A home quote can protect you and leave you with less worries during your fun-filled evening!

For all your insurance needs, contact Tom Wallace or Brian Bates at tomwallaceagency@gmail.com or Bbates504@yahoo.com
Posted 2:40 PM

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