IARN — The team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is providing helpful cooking tips as people fire up their grills during May Beef Month.
Barb Fuller is a nutrition and wellness expert with ISU Extension in Southwest Iowa. She says that while beef is a great source of protein, iron and zinc, it’s also beneficial in other ways as well.
“Beef can be economical,” Fuller told IARN affiliate KMA. “You can prepare it in so many different ways, if you think about that pound of ground beef and all the different things you can do with it.”
Fuller says cooking safety, such as bacteria and food-borne illness prevention, starts in the store.
“When you’re buying your meat, especially fresh meat, make sure that it’s separated from raw vegetables and things that you’re not going to cook to avoid those meat juices from dripping on it,” said Fuller. “When you get home from the grocery store make sure that you get it into the refrigerator.”
When thawing meat, Fuller says to do it either by using the refrigerator or in cold running water. A microwave should only be used if you are going to cook it immediately. And as always, a thermometer should be used once that beef is on the grill.
“That bacteria could still be in there, so you want to take that thermometer and wipe it off really well, run it under some warm water,” said Fuller. “If it had bacteria and you stick it back into the meat, you’re transplanting that bacteria back into your food.”
For more grilling tips, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854, or the Iowa State University Extension Answer Line at 800-262-3804.
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network