LANSING (WWJ) – 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 & Rural Development (MDARD) Director Keith Creagh 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,” Creagh said in a statement. “So, when packing for your picnic, firing up the grill, or heading out of town, look for products grown and made right here 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 & Hornung
- Cheese: Serra Cheese, Grassfield’s
- Buns & 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
You can even serve adult beverages that are made in Michigan. For information on Michigan wines, go to www.michiganwines.com, and for information on Michigan beer, visit michiganbrewersguild.businesscatalyst.com.
Thanks to modern storage techniques, delicious Michigan apples, potatoes and onions from last year’s crop are still available at most grocery stores. You can also find fresh Michigan asparagus, one of the state’s earliest commercial crops.
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.
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.
Start with the basics – 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 re-using. Never serve grilled food on the same dish that held raw meat, poultry or fish.
Also, 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 10-15 seconds to register the internal temperature.