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Grilling for the 4th? Don’t let good meat go bad.

June 27, 2017 Updated: September 8, 2020

Last year, 87 percent of grill owners planned to fire up the barbecue on the 4th of July, more than any other day of the year. With that many people grilling and even more who will be doing the eating, make sure you know the right way to handle raw beef, chicken, pork, and other meats, especially with scorching temperatures predicted in some areas.

Robert Young, Jr. is a butcher at Stop & Shop in Belle Harbor, NY and a Local 342 shop steward. With almost four decades of experience in the industry, he knows a thing or two about prepping and storing meat so to both maximize it’s flavor and make sure it is safe.

If you aren’t planning on grilling this weekend but do plan on taking advantage of any meat specials around the 4th in order to stock up your freezer, keep these tips in mind when it comes time to thaw those steaks and burgers.

1.) Once you buy something fresh, you should freeze it no more than 3 months.

2.) If you are using food that has been frozen for more than 3 months, check to see if it has freezer burn marks.

If it does, then it won’t be any good.

3.) When thawing meat to cook, leave out or in the fridge for less than 24 hours, no longer.

If you leave it in a fridge, especially one that isn’t very cold or is being opened often, your food has a much higher probability of having salmonella or bacteria.

A cat sneaks a bit of raw meat in a bowl4.) 1-3 degrees in temperature can be a huge difference in taste and your likelihood of getting sick.

A vintage meat thermometer displays safe cooking temperatures

Stay safe and have a happy Independence Day!

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