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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.
May 21, 2021
By U of A System Division of AgricultureFast facts
(568 words)(Newsrooms – with file art https://flic.kr/p/usbn1Y)
PERRYVILLE, Ark. — 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.”
Food-borne illness is no small thing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimate that 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die
from food-borne diseases each year in the United States.
Kristen Gibson, associate professor-food safety and microbiology, says grillers should
add one more tool to their collection of spatulas, tongs and plates.
“Your thermometer is your best friend when grilling!” she said. “Cutting and visually
inspecting your meat of choice will not tell you the temperature or whether it is
She also urged grillers to “avoid cross contamination. Tongs and spatulas should be
washed with soap and water or changed after placing or moving raw meat on the grill.”
Cody offered these reminders to keep food-borne illness from ruining your picnic,
block party or family dinner al fresco:
For more information, contact your local Family and Consumer Sciences agent at your
county extension office.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/
Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk, @uaex_edu or @ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media contact:Mary Hightower501email@example.com