(NC) - Sure, it tastes great and earns rave reviews from everyone sitting at the dinner table. But is your favourite recipe also a safe one? To prevent serving up foodborne illness at the dinner table, follow this helpful checklist when preparing a meal:
I am marinating in a covered container in the refrigerator. Uncooked meat, poultry or fish in a marinade is perishable.
I am marinating meat for less than 24 hours.
I have disposed of leftover marinade to avoid cross-contaminating other foods.
I avoid cooking meat at low oven temperatures. Slow cooking at temperatures under 325 F (163 C) can create a bacteria-friendly environment.
I cook meat thoroughly. Consuming undercooked or raw poultry, fish or meat is risky, as harmful bacteria may be present.
I cook red meat to at least 160 F (71 C) and poultry to at least 180 F (82 C).
I use a meat thermometer. Look for products on the forefront of food safety, like Maple Leaf hams and turkeys with built-in meat thermometers. When the meat has been safely cooked, the thermometer will pop up to let you know it's ready to eat.
By carefully preparing and cooking your food, you can minimize the risk of foodborne illness. Food processing companies, like Maple Leaf, recognize the importance of food safety.