Make your marinade tangy
Adding vinegar or lemon juice to your marinade could make your meat safer, according to research. “Acidic marinades tend to slow the growth of bacteria on meat,” says Melvin Hunt, PhD, a professor of food science at Kansas State University. Just soak properly: Marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meats shouldn’t be marinated for more than two days, but it’s okay to leave beef, pork, and lamb in the mixture for five days. Check out these tips for healthier grilling.
Think temperature, not color, for burgers
You can’t rely on color or texture to indicate doneness. In recent studies, factors like how ground beef was packaged affected the meat’s color as it cooked—some patties turned brown before they reached a safe temperature, while others were pink in the middle after thorough cooking. Heat your burger to an internal temperature of 160°F; use a food thermometer. You can be more relaxed about whole cuts of beef (if they haven’t been “blade-tenderized” or had flavoring injected) because surface bacteria are destroyed through cooking. These cuts are safe if cooked to 145°. Check out this guide to the most and least safe cuts of meat (in terms of causing foodborne illness).