OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Memorial Day weekend marks the start of grilling season for many people, so food safety experts are encouraging backyard cooks to take proper precautions.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods recommend taking a few simple steps to help ensure food safety.

The academy’s Torey Armul says it’s important to wash hands before cooking, and keep raw meats and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods.

It’s also important to bring a food thermometer to a cookout to ensure that everything has been cooked enough to kill harmful bacteria. That’s usually 165 degrees.

And perishable food and leftovers should be kept colder than 40 degrees.

Perishable food that sits out for over two hours at room temperature or over one hour above 90 degrees should be thrown out.

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