News Release
 July 3, 2014
CONTACT: Katie McKenna

Outdoor cooking tips from Tops Friendly Markets

Williamsville, NY - Tops Markets reminds everyone to play it safe this July 4th weekend by using a food thermometer and following some basic food safety tips. Hamburgers are one of the most frequently grilled foods. How do you tell if a burger has reached the safe internal temperature of 160 degrees F?

"You can't go by color", says Jim DiMartino, Tops’ Manager of Food Safety. "Color can be misleading."

USDA research shows that one out of every four hamburgers turns brown in the middle before it is safely cooked. That's why Tops labels all ground beef packages with cooking instructions to use a thermometer and cook to 160 degrees F. Using a food thermometer is the only way to tell if meat and poultry are safely cooked.

Follow these tips and put them into practice at your cookout: • Clean - wash hands, food surfaces and utensils often with hot soapy water. Separate - don't cross contaminate by using plates or utensils for raw and cooked food. Use a clean plate for those cooked burgers coming off the grill. • Chill - keep foods in the refrigerator or a cooler filled with ice. Cook to proper temperatures - use a thermometer to get to the right temperature and not overcook. • Using fat free or no oil marinades adds flavor and tenderizes, too. But remember; marinate in the refrigerator - not on the counter. • Don't reuse marinade from raw meat, fish or poultry unless you boil it. • Sauces with sugar, honey or preserves can cause sauce to burn on the meat's exterior before the meat inside. To avoid burning the meat, wait until the last 5 or 10 minutes of grilling to brush on sweet sauces. • A long-handled brush is the safest tool for applying your sauce. After every cookout, clean it in hot, sudsy water or in the dishwasher. • Bring clean utensils and platters outside. Put cooked meat, fish or poultry on a different platter than one with any raw juices. • Keep perishable salads and sandwiches with meat, eggs or seafood in a cooler with gel packs or ice. Don't leave out in the summer sun for more than one hour.

By following these simply outdoor cooking tips, you and your family will be sure to have a healthy, happy. Tops wants to wish all of its neighbors a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 161 full-service supermarkets – 156 company-owned and five franchise locations. With more than 15,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at


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