Memorial Day is one of the two biggest grilling days of the year and before you fall completely under the spell of smoke and sizzle, it pays to remember that the principles of food safety still apply when cooking moves outdoors.
According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, Memorial Day is the second-biggest grilling day of the year, with 56 percent of U.S. adults cooking out, topped only by July Fourth’s 68 percent. When asked why people grill, the HPBA found that 68 percent grilled for the flavor, followed by “lifestyle” at 45 percent, convenience at 33 percent, entertainment at 32 percent; and 19 percent said it was a hobby.
“Outdoor cooking requires additional attention to food safety since you don’t have your usual food safety tools handy such as a refrigerator to maintain safe temperatures and sink with running water to clean tools, plates and hands,” said Mary Jane Cody, a Perry County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “It’s important not to forget these realities even while we’re having fun outside.”