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Chef explains how to prepare food safely this summer | 2 Wants to Know

Everyone loves a good summer cookout. If someone prepares their food the wrong way, it could turn into a big problem for the whole party.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Tuesday marks the first official day of summer. People will ramp up their cookouts and grill in their backyards with friends and family.

If someone doesn't know how to prepare food the right way, they could easily wind up getting themselves or others sick.

Al Romano, a chef and instructor at Guilford Technical Community College, joined 2 Wants to Know to share the best practices.

Meal prep 101

Romano said it's crucial that people cook their meats to proper temperatures. He said it's important to invest in a meat thermometer. Studies show that just checking the color of the meat is not an accurate way to tell if it's cooked enough. Leaving it up to chance could get someone really sick.

Romano said that people need to keep food out of the "danger zone," which is between 41-135°. Food either needs to be really hot or really cold. Otherwise, pathogens and bacteria grow quickly and can spoil your food.

Grilling safety

When someone grills out, Romano said there's a lot to keep in mind. He said if someone marinaded their meat, they should throw it out once removing the meat from the container. Leftover raw meat juices might contaminate the cooked meat if you try to use it as a sauce.

Before even putting something on the grill, someone should clean it. Romano advised against using a wire brush cleaner. He said using an onion on a really hot is a better option. The wires on the brush can break off and get into the food.

Fair food

People love going to holiday festivals or local fairs during the summer months. There are tons of great food options. Just make sure it's prepared safely.

Romano said the vendor should use gloves and handle the food with tongs. He also said that you can check for a sticker or sign that indicates the person or business has a license to serve food.

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