RALEIGH — The holiday weekend is here and chances are most of you will be firing up the grill at least once. This time of year, you have to be extra careful of the bad food bug spoiling your event.
Food safety begins long before you get home. In fact, it starts the second you walk into the grocery store. The meat and poultry section is one of the first stops most people make, but that can be a big mistake.
Health experts say you should buy them last, right before you check out and head into the blazing sun. On the trip home, experts say the best place to store meats is not in the trunk. In this weather, it is way too hot in there. Instead, put meats up front with you where the air conditioning can keep things cool.
If your drive home is more than a half-hour, take along a portable cooler to transport meats and other perishables. Health experts say shorter drives should be OK as long as you make home your next pit stop.
Once you get home, experts say you should put perishables in the fridge immediately. You also need to freeze poultry and ground meat if you are not using it within the next two days.