Hot Enough For Ya?
We are in the heat of the BBQ season and foodborne illness is a huge risk. It was recently discovered that sun-warmed raw onions in the potato salad are more likely to cause a belly ache than the mayo that always got the bad rap. To be safe, keep cold things cold (32-40°) and hot things hot (over 140°) if you have to hold food during the picnic.
Just the other day we'd thrown some pork chops on the grill and the chef (my son, new to this particular cut of chops) asked how he would know when they were done. I told him to grab the meat thermometer and run 'em up to 160°. Another person at the table opted for 140°. I think they settled out at about 150°. By the book, 145° is sufficient. While over cooking a chop is about as bad as over cooking a chicken breast for moisture and taste, the "double end hoowee" is kind of a party killer as well.
Surprisingly, an accurate meat thermometer can be had for as little as $1.00. The one pictured here is a bit more pricey, but it's kind of cool because you can be doing something else and the thermometer will alert you when the meat is done. My best advice is to educate yourself. Start with an Internet search for "food safety" and read up on the topic. The kicker is to then apply what you have learned. This will ensure you and your friends will have great summer cookouts.