Tulsa Health Department Offers Food Safety Tips for Holiday Weekend

Tulsa Health Department Offers Food Safety Tips for Holiday Weekend

(Tulsa, OK) The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner and people everywhere will be celebrating with picnics and backyard BBQ’s. In the midst of all the festivities, it’s easy to forget simple food safety. Before firing up the grill this weekend, the Tulsa Health Department has a few tips to ensure that you have a healthy and happy 4th of July.


The following food safety guidelines will help prevent illness from improperly prepared, cooked, or stored food:


  • When grocery shopping, pick up cold food like meat and poultry last, right before checkout. To protect against cross-contamination — which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food — put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags. Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won't be used in 1 or 2 days; freeze other meat within 4 to 5 days.
  • Thaw safely. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing. Alternative thawing methods include thawing under cold water or defrosting in the microwave if the food will be immediately placed on the grill.
  • Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days.
  • When taking 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.
  • Keep cold food cold. Meat and poultry should be refrigerated or kept in a cooler until ready to use. Be sure to keep coolers out of the direct sun by placing them in the shade.
  • Keep everything clean and sanitary. Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent foodborne illness, don't 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.
  • Cook thoroughly. Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Whole poultry: 165 °F, Poultry breasts: 165 °F,Ground poultry: 165 °F, Ground meats: 160 °F, Beef, pork, lamb, and veal  (steaks, roasts and chops): 145 °F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
  • Keep hot food hot. After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served — at 140 °F or warmer
  • When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don't put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers promptly. Discard any food left out more than 2 hours. In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should never sit out for more than 1 hour.  


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