Summer is here, and grilling season is underway. Everyone loves the sound and smell of sizzling food and the joy of looking out the window and being outdoors this time of year! Whether it’s the chef, administrator or maintenance person doing the grilling, make sure to keep these general food safety guidelines in mind.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food, after handling raw foods and after any interruption that may have contaminated your hands.
- Wash and sanitize any equipment, utensils and work surfaces.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate. This includes having separate cutting boards, utensils and dishes.
- Hold cold food at 41°F or below until ready to prepare or serve.
- Discard any marinade left after raw meat is removed.
- Cook meat thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to ensure that it is cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy bacteria.
- During service, keep hot foods at 135°F or above and cold foods at 41°F or below.
- Avoid bare hand contact when serving ready-to-eat food. Wear gloves or use serving utensils.
And don’t forget that you can grill up your sides, too! Here are some tips and ideas for grilling your favorite fruits and vegetables.
- Wash fresh produce in a clean and sanitized sink.
- Scrub the surface of firm produce using a designated brush and remove any damaged or bruised areas.
- Cut or slice produce into large chunks so they don’t fall through the grates. As these items cook, water will evaporate, and they will shrink, so you could also use a grill basket or soaked skewers or wrap in foil to keep them from falling through.
- Dip or drizzle vegetables in oil to add flavor and prevent them from sticking to the grill grates, grill basket or foil.
- In addition, season vegetables with spices and herbs or marinate to enhance flavor.
- Grill fruit over indirect heat at a lower temperature to prevent the natural sugars from burning.
While grilling for your senior living or nursing home menu during the summer is great, why stop there? Consider making the grill available for residents and their families to make special meals. Just make sure everyone keeps the above tips in mind to ensure safe events for all!