Hello Rochester, this is Nurse Bowick. Have we got something to talk about? Oh Yeah! After a long harsh winter summer weather is finally here. In the coming days many of us will be firing up our barbeque grills for Memorial Day cook outs. Though we welcome the warmer weather it provides a perfect environment for bacteria and germs to multiply and cause food borne illness. Listed below are a few tips to ensure a healthy summer cook out.
1. Wash your hands!!!! Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.
If you are the BBQ man or woman, please wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
2. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat or poultry on cooked food.
3. Keep your grill clean and free of wire bristles which can cause internal injuries.
4. Line the grill with foil and poke small holes in it so the fat can still drip off, but the amount of smoke that contains potential carcinogens coming back onto the meat is lower.
5. When taking foods off the grill, do not put cooked food items back on the same plate that held raw food.
6. Store beverages and food in different coolers. The beverage coolers are usually opened more frequently which could pose a health risk for food.
7. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour.
8. Don’t forget to enjoy the day
Now I don’t want to rain on anybody’s barbecue, but I must advise you of the health risks associated with consuming meats cooked at high temperatures such and grilling, frying and broiling, especially eating that “burnt piece” we all love. The American Cancer Society reports that some research suggests that cooking meats at very high temperatures creates chemicals that may potentially increase cancer risks. I know it is difficult, but try to avoid or limit eating burned/charred foods by ½ your current consumption. Keep in mind that many of the chemicals that are created when meat is grilled are not formed during the grilling of vegetables or fruits. Pineapple on the grill is delicious.
Folks, Memorial Day is a time that we honor and remember deceased Veterans. Forget not to take a moment and reflect on how what you eat, drink and do impacts how you will be remembered. Were gonna talk about it Tuesday at 7:15am, on “Health Beats” with the wake up club on 103.9 WDKX.
Theresa Lou Bowick BSN, RN
Registered Professional Nurse
Doctor of Nursing Practice Student