Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer and the Iowa Department of Public Health says summer is often marked with an increase in food borne diseases. The IDPH’s data shows this is usually associated with summertime holidays, such as Memorial Day. Washington County Public Health Inspector Jennine Wolf says to keep raw foods refrigerated until you are ready to cook it. When grilling, it’s important to cook meat thoroughly.
Wolf mentions using a meat thermometer when cooking foods to get them to the correct temperature. She says to cook chicken at 165 degrees, hamburgers at 155 degrees, while pork chops and steaks should be cooked at 145 degrees.
Wolf says cooking foods to the correct temperature helps to enhance the flavor and tenderness of the meat as well. She adds to make sure you have clean hands to prevent cross contamination. It’s also important to immediately refrigerate leftovers.