5/18/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
* Keep meat chilled until you're ready to cook it.
* Allow meat to completely thaw in the refrigerator before placing on the grill.
* Marinate meat in a tight-sealing container, especially when transporting meat in a cooler to a picnic or tailgate party.
* Wash hands frequently with soapy water when working with raw meat.
* Keep food and drink separate.
* Avoid cross contamination. A prime cause of summer food-borne illness is the transfer of bacteria from uncooked to cooked meat.
* Don't forget the cutting board. Remember to wash all cutting boards and containers that touched by uncooked meat in hot, soapy water.
* Use a meat thermometer. Meat must reach a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before it is safe to serve. Use a thermometer to avoid serving undercooked meat.
* Take out the trash. Dispose of all refuse in a covered bin or trash receptacle.
* Keep it cool. Avoid overgrowth of bacteria by storing food in a refrigerator/cooler within
two hours of serving. When the temperature rises above 85 degrees, food should generally be stored in a cool place within one hour of serving.
* Leftovers should be packed in clean containers and put back in the coolers.
* When in doubt, throw it out. Food left out for more than two hours has often been contaminated as a result of heat exposure. Don't take any chances.