Labor Day is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time for grilling and cookouts! While grilling outside with friends and family can be fun, it can also be dangerous if food is not properly handled or thoroughly cooked. This summer, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service is reminding Americans everywhere that “Grilling Like a PRO” is the safest and easiest way to grill. You can’t see harmful bacteria on your burgers, chicken, and steak, so using a food thermometer is the only way to know that your food is safe to eat. The PRO method is an easy way to protect you and your family from foodborne illness.
P—Place the Thermometer! When you think your food is cooked, check the internal temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (usually about 1.5 to 2 inches deep). If you are cooking a thinner piece of meat, like chicken breasts or hamburger patties, insert the thermometer from the side. Make sure that the probe reaches the center of the meat.
R—Read the Temperature! Wait about 10 to 20 seconds for an accurate temperature reading. Use the following safe internal temperature guidelines for your meat and poultry. Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time. Ground meats: 160 °F Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F
O—Off the Grill! Once the meat and poultry reach their safe minimum internal temperatures, take the food off the grill and place it on a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Also remember to clean your food thermometer probe with hot, soapy water or disposable wipes.