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People urged to keep food safety in mind

With the Memorial Day holiday right around the corner and warm summer months fast approaching, thoughts of hot dogs and burgers sizzling on the grill have Michiganians heading outside for food and family fun. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Keith Creagh today offered a few tips on ways to incorporate a taste of Michigan in your holiday meal as well as a few food safety reminders.

"I encourage all consumers to get a taste of Michigan this summer. By choosing Michigan-grown and processed products not only are you getting a fresher, tastier product but you are also supporting our homegrown businesses," said Creagh. "When packing for your picnic, firing up the grill, or heading out of town, look for products grown and made in Michigan."

Here are a few examples of how to add a taste of Michigan this Memorial Day.

  • Hot Dogs ~ Ball Park, Koegel, Kowalski's.
  • Hamburger ~ Smithfield Beef.
  • Turkey ~ Michigan Turkey Producers Cooperative.
  • Brats ~ Alexander and Hornung.
  • Cheese ~ Serra Cheese, Grassfield's.
  • Buns and Bread ~ Zingerman's Bakehouse, Aunt Millie's, Cole's Garlic Bread, Brown's Bun Baking Co.
  • Condiments ~ Vlasic, Heinz, Mucky Duck Mustard, McClure's Pickles, Safie pickled products.
  • Vegetables ~ Fresh grilled asparagus, Birdseye.
  • Soft Drinks and Bottled Water ~ Faygo, Vernors, Absopure.
  • Chips and Snacks ~ Better Made, Uncle Ray's, Kars.
  • Salsa, Sauces, Seasonings ~ Garden Fresh Salsa, Billy Bones BBQ Sauce, DeYoung's Fore Seasons.
  • Ice Cream ~ Prairie Farms Dairy, Hudsonville Ice Cream, Moo-Ville Creamery.
  • Baked Goods ~ Grand Traverse Pie Company, Keebler, Archway, Achatz, Sweetie-licious.

Thanks to modern storage techniques, delicious Michigan apples, potatoes and onions from last year's crop are still available at most grocery stores. Many Michigan farmers have also started using season-extending technology, like plastic-covered hoophouses. This means that some local farmers have already begun harvesting greens, lettuces, radishes, cilantro, carrots and more.

You can also find fresh Michigan asparagus, one of our state's earliest commercial crops. Look for Michigan fruits and vegetables in your grocer's produce section or visit a farm market or community farmers' market near you. Visit www.MichiganFarmFun.com for farm market locations.

In addition to buying locally, MDARD reminds consumers to follow basic food safety guidelines when making your Michigan meals to help keep family and friends healthy.

  • Always wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after handling food.
  • Use separate utensils, cutting boards and serving dishes for raw and cooked foods, and wash thoroughly with warm, soapy water before reusing. Never serve grilled food on the same dish that held raw meat, poultry or fish.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure foods reach safe internal temperatures because cooking by checking the color of the meat is not enough. For example, hamburgers should be cooked to 160° F, poultry to 165° F, pork to 160° F and large cuts of beef to 145° F for medium rare, and 160° F for medium. Insert a meat thermometer horizontally into the center of the burger, steak or poultry for 10 to 15 seconds to register the internal temperature.
  • Carry food in a cooler with a cold pack and keep it in the shade with the lid on.
  • Never leave perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. When outdoor temperatures reach 90° F, food shouldn't be left out for more than an hour. If foods are left out for this long in these instances, throw them away.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

Visit www.michigan.gov/foodsafety or www.foodsafety.gov, call the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry hotline at (800) 535-4555, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Information Line at (888) SAFE-FOOD or call a Michigan State University Extension office for more information.

Visit www.michiganwines.com for information on Michigan wines.

Visit http://michiganbrewersguild.businesscatalyst.com for information on Michigan beer.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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