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Health Matters

A monthly feature from  Logan County Health Department

Barbecue food safety

[JUNE 3, 2002]  Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with family and friends. Now more than half of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year-round. So whether the snow is blowing or the sun is shining brightly, itís important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing food-borne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely.

From the store: home first

When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To guard against cross-contamination ó which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food ó put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.

Load meat and poultry into the coolest part of the car and take the groceries straight home. In the summer, if home is more than a 30-minute drive away, bring a cooler with ice and place perishable food in it for the trip.

At home, place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately. Freeze poultry and ground meat that wonít be used in one or two days; freeze other meat within four to five days.

Defrost safely

Completely defrost meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. You can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.

Marinating

Meat and poultry can be marinated for several hours or days to tenderize or add flavor. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Transporting

When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car.

Keep cold food cold

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.

Keep everything clean

Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne illness, donít use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

If youíre eating away from home, find out if thereís a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and wet towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

Precooking

Precooking food partially in the microwave, oven or stove is a good way of reducing grilling time. Just make sure that the food goes immediately on the preheated grill to complete cooking.

Cook thoroughly

Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature. Whole poultry should reach 180 F; breasts, 170 F. Hamburgers made of ground beef should reach 160 F; ground poultry, 165 F. Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops can be cooked to 145 F. All cuts of pork should reach 160 F.

NEVER partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.

 

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Reheating

When reheating fully cooked meats like hot dogs, grill to 165 F or until steaming hot.

Keep hot food hot

After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served ó at 140 F or warmer.

Keep cooked meats hot by setting them to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook. At home, the cooked meat can be kept hot in a warm oven (approximately 200 F), in a chafing dish or slow cooker, or on a warming tray.

Serving the food

When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Donít put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.

In hot weather (90 F and above), food should never sit out for more than one hour.

Leftovers

Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than two hours (one hour if temperatures are above 90 F).

Safe smoking

Smoking is cooking food indirectly in the presence of a fire. It can be done in a covered grill if a pan of water is placed beneath the meat on the grill; and meats can be smoked in a "smoker," which is an outdoor cooker especially designed for smoking foods. Smoking is done much more slowly than grilling, so less tender meats benefit from this method, and a natural smoke flavoring permeates the meat. The temperature in the smoker should be maintained at 250 to 300 F for safety.

Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe internal temperature.

Pit roasting

Pit roasting is cooking meat in a large, level hole dug in the earth. A hardwood fire is built in the pit, requiring wood equal to about 2Ĺ times the volume of the pit. The hardwood is allowed to burn until the wood reduces and the pit is half filled with burning coals. This can require four to six hours of burning time.

Cooking may require 10 to 12 hours or more and is difficult to estimate. A meat thermometer must be used to determine the meatís safety and doneness. There are many variables such as outdoor temperature, the size and thickness of the meat, and how fast the coals are cooking.

Does grilling pose a cancer risk?

Some studies suggest there may be a cancer risk related to eating food cooked by high-heat cooking techniques as grilling, frying, and broiling. Based on present research findings, eating moderate amounts of grilled meats like fish, meat, and poultry cooked ó without charring ó to a safe temperature does not pose a problem.

To prevent charring, remove visible fat that can cause a flare-up. Precook meat in the microwave immediately before placing it on the grill to release some of the juices that can drop on coals. Cook food in the center of the grill, and move coals to the side to prevent fat and juices from dripping on them. Cut charred portions off the meat.

For further information, contact:

Meat and poultry hotline:

1 (800) 535-4555 (toll-free nationwide)

1 (800) 256-7072 (TTY)

FSIS website: www.fsis.usda.gov

[News release]


Red Cross


Honors & Awards


Announcements

Menís health seminar and screening offered

[JUNE 7, 2002]  The Rural Health Partnership will be celebrating Menís Health Month during June with the following events:

ē  June 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m. ó Free seminar in Conference Room A at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The subject of Dr. Thomas Zwillingís presentation is "Prostate Cancer, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery." Free materials and a light snack will be provided. Call 732-2616, Ext. 409 and leave name to reserve a seat.

ē  June 10-20 ó Free prostate screenings on the mobile unit at all regularly scheduled locations. Free PSA blood checks and digital rectal exams will be provided to men ages 50 to 75 and African-American males between 45 and 75. 

For more information, contact 732-2161, Ext. 409.  

[Rural Health Partnership news release]


Mobile health unit schedule

The Rural Health Partnership has announced the schedule for its mobile health unit for 2002.

 

Morning: 9-11 a.m.

 

 

Afternoon: 1-3:30 p.m.

Monday

1st and 3rd

Hartsburg

1st and 3rd

Emden

 

2nd and 4th

San Jose

2nd and 4th

Greenview

Tuesday

Weekly

Chestnut

Weekly

Mount Pulaski

Wednesday

Weekly

New Holland

Weekly

Middletown

Thursday

1st and 3rd

Elkhart

Weekly

Atlanta

2nd and 4th

Friendship Manor-Lincoln

Friday

1st, 2nd, 4th

Village Hall-Latham

1st

Beason

     

2nd and 4th

Broadwell

 

3rd

Maintenance/ special events

3rd

Maintenance/
special events

The mobile health unit does not operate on the following dates for holidays during 2002:  Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 18 (Presidentsí Day), March 29 (Good Friday), May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), Sept. 2 (Labor Day), Oct. 14 (Columbus Day), Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), Nov. 28-29 (Thanksgiving break) and Dec. 24-25 (Christmas break).

For more information on the mobile health unit schedule and services, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.


Community resource list

This family resource list to save and use is provided by the Healthy Communities Partnership and the Healthy Families Task Force, 732-2161, Ext. 409.         

Agency

Phone number

Address

Lincoln agencies

911

911 (emergency)
732-3911 (office -- non-emergency)

911 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital

732-2161

315 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

American Red Cross
www.il-redcross.org  

732-2134 or 
1 (800) 412-0100

125 S. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Catholic Social Services
www.cdop.org 

732-3771

310 S. Logan
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber
of Commerce
www.lincolnillinois.com 

735-2385

303 S. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action (CIEDC)

732-2159

1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Crisis Pregnancy Center/
Living Alternatives

735-4838

408 A Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

DCFS (Department of Children
& Family Services)

735-4402 or 
1 (800) 252-2873
(crisis hotline)

1120 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Heartland Community College
- GED program

735-1731

620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Housing Authority

732-7776

1028 N. College St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Breast & Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP)
www.logancountyhealth.org 

735-2317 or 
1 (800) 269-4019

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Illinois Employment and Training Center (replaces JTPA office)

735-5441

120 S. McLean St., Suite B
Farm Bureau Building
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Area YMCA

735-3915

319 W. Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln/Logan Food Pantry

732-2204

P.O. Box 773
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Parentsí Center

735-4192

100 S. Maple
Lincoln, IL 62656

Lincoln Park District

732-8770

1400 Primm Rd.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Department of Human Services (Public Aid)
www.state.il.us/agency/dhs 

735-2306

1500 Fourth St.
P.O. Box 310
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan County Health Department
www.logancountyhealth.org 

735-2317

109 Third St.
P.O. Box 508
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Mental Health

735-2272 or
735-3600 (crisis line)

304 Eighth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center

735-1413

760 S. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

The Oasis
(Senior Citizens of Logan County)

732-6132

501 Pulaski St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Project READ

735-1731

620 Broadway St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Salvation Army

732-7890

1501 N. Kickapoo
Lincoln, IL 62656

Senior Services of Central Illinois

732-6213 or 
1 (800) 252-8966
(crisis line)

109 Third St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

U. of I. Extension Service
www.ag.uiuc.edu 

732-8289

980 N. Postville Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656

Springfield agencies

Department of Aging
www.state.il.us/aging

785-3356

421 E. Capitol, #100
Springfield, IL 62701-1789

American Cancer Society
www.cancer.org 

546-7586
(24 hour)

1305 Wabash, Suite J
Springfield, IL 62704

Community Child Care Connection
www.childcaresolutions.org 

(217) 525-2805 or
1 (800) 676-2805

1004 N. Milton Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-4430

Hospice Care of Illinois

1 (800) 342-4862
(24 hour) or
732-2161, Ext. 444

720 N. Bond
Springfield, IL 62702

Illinois Department of Public Health
www.idph.state.il.us 

(217) 782-4977

535 W. Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62761

Legal Assistance Foundation

(217) 753-3300 or
1 (800) 252-8629

730 E. Vine St., Suite 214
Springfield, IL 62703

Sojourn Shelter & Services Inc.
http://www.sojournshelter.org/

732-8988 or
1 (866) HELP4DV
(24-hour hotline)

1800 Westchester Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62704

U. of I. Division of Specialized Care for Children
www.uic.edu 

524-2000 or 
1 (800) 946-8468

421 South Grand Ave. West
Second Floor
Springfield, IL 62704

Logan County libraries

Atlanta Library 

(217) 648-2112

100 Race St.
Atlanta, IL 61723

Elkhart Library

(217) 947-2313

121 E. Bohan
Elkhart, IL 62634

Lincoln Public Library
www.lincolnpubliclibrary.org 

732-8878

725 Pekin St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Mount Pulaski Library

792-5919

320 N. Washington
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

(updated 2-15-02)

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