USDA wants to remind consumers to follow safe food handling tips in order to make their Fourth of July cookouts safe and healthy for everyone. The four basic tips to stay free of foodborne illnesses are to clean surfaces and hands, separate raw meats and poultry from produce and cooked foods, make sure steaks, roasts, chops and fish are cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit and ground beef at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and don't let perishable food sit out for more than two hours or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says barbecuing is a great way to celebrate Independence Day and it's important to take a few seconds to measure your food temperature to help protect your family and friends this summer. Vilsack says the most important grilling tool should be a food thermometer.
USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service will be offering information throughout the week about preventing foodborne illnesses at Fourth of July events and during the year. Visit www.AskKaren.gov for food safety questions or visit www.fsis.usda.gov for summertime food safety information.