press release

May 16, 2013

Christopher Brand
[email protected]


Carlisle, PA – Ready, set, fire up those grills to kick start the grilling season! GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets want to make sure your next barbecue is a safe and healthy one by keeping food safety top of mind when grilling.

When preparing your meats for grilling, marinate in the refrigerator, not on countertops or outdoors. If the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food later, set some of it aside in a separate container before adding the raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sauce used to marinate raw meat should be discarded and not reused.

If you partially cook food in the microwave or oven to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before food goes on the hot grill. The best way to know if meat is cooked thoroughly is to use a meat thermometer and check the temperature. Before removing from the grill, insert a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it does not go through to the other side. The thermometer should give a reading in about 15-20 seconds. Included below are the recommended internal temperatures that cooked meat and seafood should be to avoid harmful bacteria such as E. coli:

  • Ground beef hamburgers – 160°F. Cooking ground beef until the pink is gone is not always an indicator of thorough cooking as it can still be pink inside and cooked to a safe 160°F. Color is not always a true indicator.
  • Ground and whole poultry - 165°F
  • Chops, steaks and roasts from beef, veal or lamb - 145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium and 170°F for well done
  • Pork chops and roast - 150°F
  • Fin fish - 145°F
  • Shrimp, lobster and crabs – Cooked until the flesh is pearly and opaque

Wash your hands, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go onto the next food. Always use a clean plate and clean utensils for serving as cooked food should not be placed on the same plate that previously held raw foods, including meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

Don’t forget to make room for veggies and fruits on the grill too! The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars, resulting in loads of flavor without the need for added sugar, salt or fat. During the summer months, customers see an increase in locally grown produce as the local growing season is nearing its peak. Fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, corn, melon, peaches, and peppers are just some of the items GIANT/MARTIN’S features from nearby farms. Rinse all fresh fruit and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten and keep a separate cutting board for fresh produce to avoid cross-contamination during food preparation.

Remember to refrigerate any leftovers promptly after serving and within two hours after cooking. Your home refrigerator should be set to maintain a product temperature of 40°F or lower. Food should only be outside one hour when the temperature is above 90°F. When in doubt, throw it out. Leftovers should be reheated until steaming before serving.

For additional grilling and food safety tips, stop into your local GIANT/MARTIN’S to speak with a meat department associate or visit or


Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013, GIANT/MARTIN’S, headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN’S employs more than 31,000 associates. Founded in 1923, GIANT and MARTIN’S have a long-standing commitment to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children in addition to working with hundreds of local organizations annually. The company was recognized for its leadership in the fight against hunger with the Golden Grocer Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. GIANT and MARTIN’S are Ahold companies. For more information visit and Find us on Facebook at and