I love a good Fourth of July barbecue. There's nothing better than some brats and burgers fresh of the grill with a creamy cold salad, fresh fruit and a cold beverage. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

What might feel great going down will feel like a living nightmare coming out if you get food poisoning. You should definitely brush up on your food safety and preparation ahead of your Minnesota BBQ, especially if you're hosting the event.

I'm a natural worrier when it comes to food safety. Food poisoning is the absolute worst thing ever, especially in the summer. My general rule of thumb is, if something seems suspect, don't eat it. Seriously. If you don't trust it, don't eat it. That's what the drive-thru was invented for.

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My second rule of thumb is, temp it. Temp it all. Invest in a meat thermometer and a food thermometer for the cold salad, too.

  • First, wash your hands. I mean, we're coming out of a pandemic and who knows where your hands have been.
  • Cook in a clean space...sanitize your kitchen and counter tops before making food. If you've got animals that like to roam around on the counters (GROSS), put them in a different room while you're food prepping.
  • Keep your meats and seafoods in the fridge until you're ready to throw it on the grill. I don't care if grandma always use to let the meat thaw in the sink...don't do it, Tina.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer and be patient. I've got family members who want to always rip chicken off the grill when 'the juice starts running clear'. I'm a firm believer in the 165 degree temperature. That's when your food is hot enough in the middle to kill bacteria. Hamburger and ground beef need to be cooked to 160 degrees. Whole cuts of pork, lamb, veal, beef and fish need to be cooked to 145 degrees.
  • Meat isn't the only thing you need to worry about. If you've got a cold food bar, the temperature needs to be 40 degrees or less.
  • Don't let your leftovers sit out long. Sorry, but if you've got friends showing up late to the BBQ, that's on them. Pack up your food within an hour of coming off the grill. #NotYourFaultTheyAreLate

Eat well, have fun, stay safe and enjoy your 4th of July BBQ food poisoning free!

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