You’re fixing a plate of food. You strategically place a corn cob glistening with butter next to the homemade potato salad. And you can’t forget the grilled chicken. No barbecue would be complete without it. But, as you assemble all of the elements for a perfect lunch, do you know that the food that you’re eating could be contaminated by bacteria?
The Partnership for Food Safety Education is using research from Kansas State University’s Center for Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior to educate consumers about the importance of developing proper food handling techniques from the grocery store to the grill in a nationwide campaign called, “Don’t Wing It: Practice Safe Poultry Handling”. The campaign is being featured in supermarkets across the country.
“It’s not that food is unsafe,” said co-director Dr. Edgar Chambers IV. “It’s just that we don’t handle it that well and it, unfortunately, then gets bacteria on it from the air, from improper handling…Then, we don’t cook it properly and we get sick from that.”
Beginning at the grocery store, consumers should be especially careful as they come into contact with grocery carts and poultry products.
“Grocery stores are happy for you to disinfect those carts. Just wipe off the handle when you walk in the door,” said Chambers. “When you, actually, pick up your poultry or your meat in the grocery store, use a meat bag. Put your meat in there and leave it there. Handle it as little as possible. Let’s start by practicing safe food handling in the grocery store.”
Washing your hands before, during and after food preparation, as well as, using a meat thermometer to insure proper meat and poultry doneness are several simple ways to turn your picnic or barbecue from being a disaster to a success this spring and summer.
For additional tips, visit fightbac.org.