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How to avoid getting food poisoning this Memorial Day weekend

Natalie Mayrath

Every Friday our Personal Finance team will round up consumer news you need to know ahead of the weekend, on a segment we call “Family First” for YFi PM. Read below for this week’s round-up.

You might want to think twice about your grilling plans for Memorial Day, as the USDA announced a recall on Wednesday of 62,000 pounds of beef by Illinois-based Aurora Packing Company, Inc.


Products involved in the warning include short ribs, ribeyes, and briskets bearing an establishment number “Est. 788” inside the USDA inspection mark on the packaging. Look for a list on the USDA/FSIS website of retailers where these products could pop up. The Food Safety and Inspection Service told Yahoo Finance that they are “still working on collecting all of the distribution information for the Aurora Packing recall.”

The recall comes after traceback activities in random sample testing by the Food Safety Inspection Administration showed the potential for E. coli contamination. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, according to the USDA.

Hot dogs are also questionable items to put on your grill, as over 1 ton of beef frankfurters are being recalled for possibly containing pieces of metal. Vienna Beef Company originally discovered the contamination and says they were able to reclaim all packages in question, which were sold to restaurants in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin but had not been available to retailers. The USDA is in the process of verifying whether the recall is in fact complete.

Vienne Beef announces a recall of 1 ton of their beef frankfurters ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.

And for whatever food you do bring along for your memorial day festivities this weekend, follow some simple safety tips to avoid foodborne illnesses. Bring along paper towels, hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes to your picnic. You should also bring two coolers instead of so perishables that should be kept on ice at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below can stay separated from the rest of your food and beverages. Don’t forget a meat thermometer to assure your meat is cooked to safe temperatures, and don’t leave any leftovers outdoors for longer than two hours.

Food safety packing tips


  • If running water is not available, bring soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, or moist towelettes. This will help keep your hands clean throughout the day, especially after handling any raw meat or poultry.

  • Avoid cross contamination by using clean plates and utensils. Don’t place cooked food on a plate that once held raw meat or poultry.

  • Bring a couple of portable coolers — one for perishable foods and one for beverages — filled with ice. Perishable items like raw chicken, burgers, or appetizers like fresh salsa, guacamole, or bean salads should be kept at 40⁰F or below.

  • Don’t forget the food thermometer! Cook meat and poultry to the safe internal temperatures. Checking the temperature is the only way to know if your food is safe to consume. USDA-recommended safe minimum internal temperatures are:

    • Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F with a three-minute rest time

    • Fish: 145°F

    • Ground meats (beef, veal, lamb, pork): 160°F

    • Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F

  • Bring the right amount of food that you will consume at your picnic, but if you still have some leftovers, don’t leave them outdoors for more than two hours.


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