The weather has finally turned and Canadians are ready to get grilling! It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy time with family, but let’s make sure we’re doing it the healthy way. It’s also fun to marinate meats and enjoy new recipes on the barbecue, but here are a few food safety tips to keep your family healthy:
1. Rinse all fresh meats, fish, and poultry under cold water before marinating or cooking to be sure to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated in the packaging.
2. Plan meals ahead so that proper thawing time is allowed if you are using frozen meat. Allow meats to fully thaw in the refrigerator prior to cooking.
3. Marinate meat in the refrigerator and not on the counter. You can set meat out before cooking to allow it to warm to room temperature, but for no longer than one hour, according to Health Canada.
4. If you wish to make more marinade for dipping sauce with dinner, be sure that it has not come into contact with raw meat.
5. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after handling raw meat.
6. When outside, keep food covered to ensure no contact with bacteria carrying insects and birds.
7. To prevent cross-contamination, use separate utensils on raw and cooked meat and never place cooked meat back on to a plate that held raw meat.
8. Bacteria such as salmonella and e.coli are killed by heat. Be sure to cook all meats, poultry, and fish to the proper internal temperature. You can’t tell by looking, so use a food thermometer to be safe.
9. Discard food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid eating bacterial contaminated food.
10. Don’ let summer be the time your red meat intake climbs to new highs! Think about grilling more veggies, poultry, and fish on the barbecue! See my recipe below.
Dr. Jen’s BBQ Skewers
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
½ red onion
2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground pepper
Pinch of ground sea salt
Soak 5-6 bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.
Chop vegetables into 3 inch chunks (appropriate for skewering). Add to bowl
Chop chicken breast into 1 inch cubes. Add to another bowl.
Combine marinade ingredients and stir to blend.
Toss half of marinade onto chopped veggies and other half onto chicken.
Bake marinated chicken in 325°F oven for 10 minutes.
Skewer vegetables and chicken onto soaked bamboo skewers (reserve veggie marinade to add at end).
Cook on barbecue at low eat until veggies are slightly browned and chicken juices run clear.
Toss leftover veggie marinade onto chicken and vegetables and serve!