Long days, hot temperatures, and family gatherings will soon return to America's backyards. Also returning are traditions, like roasting a whole pig. Asar un cerdo requiere mucha planificación antes, durante y después de la comida para garantizar la seguridad alimentaria. Over the past few years, there have been foodborne illness outbreaks associated with pig roasts in several states.
When purchasing a pig, here are some tips:
- Buy your pig from a reputable supplier.
- Have the supplier wrap it in plastic to contain the juices.
- Use ice to keep the pig cold during transport and until it is time to cook.
- If you can’t keep it refrigerated or on ice, pick it up just before you are ready to cook.
Cooks should follow the four food safety steps:
- Clean: Anything that comes into contact with the whole pig should be washed with hot soapy water afterward (hands, utensils, and surfaces).
- Separate: Use different cutting boards when preparing meat, vegetables, and ready-to eat-food. Evite la contaminación cruzada.
- Cook: The recommended minimum internal temperature of pork products is 145 degrees Fahrenheit with a 3-minute rest time. Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer in several places. Don’t have a food thermometer? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to get a free one. Serve the meat you carve within 1-2 hours.
- Chill: After you serve your guests, remove remaining portions from the cooked pig, pack them into shallow containers, and refrigerate within 1-2 hours.
For questions about food safety, contact the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety expert or chat live at ask.usda.gov from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.