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BBQ Safety Tips

The season for backyard picnics and barbecues has begun. Cooking outside means a little more care in food handling is necessary to avoid food borne illness.

Follow these BBQ Safety Tips: 
• When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last. Put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags to guard against cross-contamination, which can happen when meat and poultry juices drip on other foods.
• Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If marinade is to be used as sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. 
• Meats should be kept cold - 40 degrees (refrigerator temperature) - until cooked, keeping the bacteria found on all fresh meats from growing.
• Wash hands with hot water and soap before and after handling raw meat.
• If meat or poultry is brought outside, keep it in an ice chest until grilling begins and do not put other foods in the same cooler.
• Cook meats thoroughly to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria - hamburger 160 degrees, chicken 175, pork 160 and all other meats 145 degrees. 
• When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter - do not put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.
• Use clean utensils. Utensils that touch raw meat should not be used to handle cooked foods until washed thoroughly.
• Milk, mayonnaise and eggs must stay cold at all times. Milk can stay fresh 10 days at 40 degrees, but only 1 day if it reaches room temperature.

Egg-cellent Egg Facts

Courtesy of NestFresh Eggs

  • One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, high-quality protein, unsaturated fats and antioxidants, all for 70 calories.
  • The USDA updated the average nutrition information for a single large egg with a 14% decrease in cholesterol from 215mg to 185 mg and a 64% increase in Vitamin D to a total of 41 IU of Vitamin D.
  • A new study on farms that produce eggs compared current production practices to those from 50 years ago and found that today’s egg farms have 71% lower greenhouse gas emissions, use 32% less water to produce a dozen eggs, and that today’s hens are living longer.
  • It is said that a chef’s hat has a pleat for each of the many ways you can cook eggs. Eggs are extremely versatile and can be cooked scrambled, fried, poached, baked, steamed, inside of the shell, outside of the shell or as an ingredient in infinite dishes. They can be used as a wash, a binder, a thickener and for many other functional uses in the kitchen…in addition to the delicious flavor they add!
  • Egg shells don’t have to be thrown away. They can be used for a number of household uses—seed starters, fertilizers, composting, natural pest repellant, and more.
  • You can usually tell the color of the shell a hen will lay by the color of her ears.
  • Eggs can come in Pee Wee, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Jumbo, and Super Jumbo sizes. 
  • Howard Helmer is known as the Omelet King for holding the omelet-making world record by making 427 two-egg omelets in 30 minutes.
  • There are about 200 different breeds of chickens worldwide.
  • The chance of finding a double yolked egg is estimated at about 1/1,000, so if you get one you’re not only luck for beating the odds, but for getting twice the nutrients of a single yolk!