Labor Day Party Tips

Labor Day is here and that means gatherings, picnics, and BBQs to celebrate! SupermarketGuru wants to make sure you are safe this weekend, and so here are a few reminders and tips to celebrate safely...

August 28, 2014

Labor Day is here and that means gatherings, picnics, and BBQs to celebrate! SupermarketGuru wants to make sure you are safe this weekend, and so here are a few reminders and tips to celebrate safely.

Outdoor bbqs can often present food safety issues, from cooking meat to the right temperature to keeping your food fresh, there are lots of ways unsafe foods can dampen the party. Here's how to make sure your bbqs are the most delicious and the safest they can be.

When it comes to food safety, cooking meat to the correct temperature is critical. Use a thermometer. There are even apps for this if you can believe it! For instance the iGrill2, a wireless Bluetooth Smart thermometer tells your smartphone when your food is ready. The thermometer connects to your phone through an app, and will give you the real time temperature of your meat. You'll get an alert when your food has reached the desired temperature. Just one of the neat ways to upgrade your bbq experience.

Staying hydrated is key for the grill chef and guests. More of us now are looking for beverages that are both refreshing and healthy without added sugars or artificial sweeteners. This season how about coconut water, iced tea, fresh fruit and veggie juices and garden scented water (think basil and lemon!).

Don’t wash the chicken! Research from the UK’s Food Standards Agency has found that washing chicken can lead to splashed water droplets that can spread harmful bacteria on to our skin, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment. The government's food watchdog has urged consumers to stop washing chicken before they cook it to avoid contaminating their kitchen with Campylobacter. FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: "Although people tend to follow recommended practice when handling poultry, such as washing hands after touching raw chicken and making sure it is thoroughly cooked, our research has found that washing raw chicken is also common practice (that may not lead to the desired outcome).”

What about mayo? Traditionally, mayo is a blend of oil and egg yolks that is seasoned with vinegar, lemon juice, salt and occasionally mustard. Mayo gets its fragile reputation from the egg yolks which can spoil easily especially in homemade varieties that use unpasteurized eggs if left at room temperature. So, why doesn’t commercial mayo spoil? Commercial brands of mayonnaise use pasteurized eggs, or an egg yolk replacement that doesn’t spoil, that’s also why most varieties of mayo are not refrigerated when you buy them. Moreover, a study from the Food Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin, found that mayonnaise in salads might actually help reduce spoilage. The vinegar, lemon juice, salt and other ingredients make mayo acidic and “preservative like” and therefore likely to protect against spoilage. Remember if you are using homemade mayo you need to be much more careful! 

And of course, last but not least: wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before cooking, handling raw foods, and before handling cooked foods. Cross contamination is one of the biggest sources of food safety issues; washing up prevents problems. If you are not near running water you can use a waterless cleaner that kills germs and bacteria instantly. Also, fill a spray bottle with water and one tablespoon of bleach to keep handy to wipe off surfaces and utensils.

SupermarketGuru wishes you a Happy Labor Day Weekend.

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