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Independence Day Grilling with SDBIC Director of Nutrition, Holly Swee!

Independence Day celebrations have begun and what a blessing it is to live in the land of the free! My family and I celebrate throughout the week for many reasons, not only for our country’s independence, but also because it lands on or near many other celebrations including a family birthday and anniversary. Although my family and I cook and enjoy a variety of beef meals throughout the work week, we also hold it in high regards for celebrations. Beef and important life celebrations go together for my family. In fact, approximately 83% of people agree that beef is good for social gatherings or special occasions overall. (1) If my family is celebrating a special occasion, we typically celebrate it with a delicious steak.

Gather your loved ones this holiday and celebrate with a delicious beef meal and savor the time together. Here are some tips to help you create a special beef meal:

  1. Choose your cut. Not sure which beef cut to choose? Visit and explore the online Beef Cuts Collection. It’s a great tool to help guide you and it’s mobile friendly.

  2. Find recipe inspiration. has a variety of great tasting grilling recipes. If you’re simply looking to add a little spice or seasoning, check out the rubs and marinades page.

  3. Prepare your grill. Make sure your grill is clean. Prior to cooking, be sure to preheat the grill (gas or charcoal) according to manufacturer’s direction for medium heat.

  4. Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands before, during and after food preparation.

  5. Avoid cross-contamination. Keep raw meats and ready-to-eat foods in separate containers to avoid cross-contamination. Wash utensils in warm, soapy water between uses.

  6. Use proper utensils. A meat thermometer is a must because it takes the guesswork out of cooking. Ground beef burgers are recommended to have an internal temperature of 160°F; steaks and roast are recommended at 145°F.

  7. Let it rest. Be sure to let cooked steaks and roasts rest at least three minutes once you remove them from the grill to allow the juices to redistribute evenly.

  8. Observe time and temperature. Typically, foods can be out for approximately two hours, but in hot weather (90°F or above), cut the time in half. In these instances, one hour is the limit without refrigeration. Learn more food safety tips at

By remembering these simple steps, you will not only be providing a delicious meal, but you will also be modeling good food safety and cooking techniques for others to follow for a safe, fun holiday!

(1.) Source: Consumer Beef Tracker, Jan 2019-Dec 2020, Directions Research.

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