Don your grilling aprons; May is National Barbecue Month! Clear skies and warmer weather set the stage for great grilling parties; but please barbecue responsibly. The Center for Disease Control Prevention warns that warm temperatures lead to an increased risk of food-borne pathogens.
Most food poisoning cases are caused by bacteria, such as salmonella and E. Coli, that grow faster when it's hot. Experts say bacteria proliferate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should keep perishable foods either above or below these temperatures to prevent food poisoning.
Donald Zink, PhD, senior science adviser at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition puts it simply: "Hot foods should be kept hot, and cold foods should be kept cold to prevent rapid bacterial growth."
Invest in a quality cooler and plenty of ice for your Johnsonville brats and burgers before you head out to the grill. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind and a great day with friends.
Happy National Barbecue Month!