“Memorial Day is when we honor soldiers who have fallen in defense of our nation, those brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to ensure freedom and prosperity for the United States.” Tampa Bay Times May 26, 2013
In researching for this post, I have found there is a long history of this solemn “Decoration Day” dating back to 1863 and honoring our Civil War dead, both Union and Confederate. More recently it has become something else: the start of the summer grilling season! (My sincere condolences to the Northeast US who have experienced snowfall of up to 8 inches this weekend)
Before you fire up your grill for the first time this season, besides clearing out the cobwebs and cleaning off the grill racks, you might want to pay a visit to the website http://www.HomeFoodSafety.org. This site is a joint effort of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods.
Did you know that 1 of 4 hamburgers will turn brown before it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature? Fact! You cannot rely on color alone to determine if grilled meat is done. The only way to know whether meat and poultry is thoroughly cooked and harmful bacteria has been destroyed is to use a meat thermometer. It also prevents you from overcooking your meat, potentially saving you $$$.
48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne illness each year. Don’t let your family and guests become one of the statistics. For a complete listing of safe cooking temperatures download the free app “Is my food safe?” and visit http://www.HomeFoodSafety.org to download the Safe Grilling Guide, Using a Food Thermometer Guide and to view the video Using a food thermometer.
And while that meal is digesting, maybe take a quiet walk through your local cemetary to reflect on the selfless sacrifice that gives us a 3 day weekend today.