Time To Get Your Grilling On…

One of the best ways to celebrate summer is enjoying a great barbecue.  Before you fire up the grill, take a moment to follow these tips for a safe and fun cookout.
 
FOOD PREP MATTERS

  • Be sure to keep your meat, seafood, and poultry separated from each other and from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Keep your meat products refrigerated until the grill is ready, and if you are bringing these savory delights to the party, keep them in a cooler at as close to 40o Fahrenheit as possible.
  • Toss out marinades or sauces which have touched raw meat juices, and use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove foods from the grill.

 
KEEP IT CLEAN, KEEP IT MEAN

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, both before and after handling raw meat.
  • Be sure to clean surfaces and grilling utensils before and after they are touched by any foods.
  • Wipe down grill surfaces with a damp cloth prior to using and if cleaning with a wire brush, inspect the cooking surface to ensure no bristles have become dislodged and are at risk of touching the food.
  • For gas grills, check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease. Blockages can be cleared with a pipe cleaner or wire.
  • Check hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, or leaks.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to check for gas leaks. If you detect a leak, turn off the gas immediately and do not attempt to light it until the leak is fixed.
  • Charcoal produces carbon monoxide when it is burned, which can accumulate into toxic levels if enclosed.
  • Never use charcoal grills inside homes, tents, vehicles, or campers, even if there is ventilation.

 
THE HEAT IS ON

  • Meat, seafood, and poultry should be cooked until they reach temperatures hot enough to kill any harmful germs.
  • Use a meat thermometer for accurately checking temperatures.
  • Follow these guidelines for fully cooked meats:
    • Fish – 145o
    • Whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal – 145o
    • Hamburgers and other ground beef – 165o
    • Poultry and pre-cooked meats such as hotdogs – 165o
  • Leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer in covered containers within two hours of cooking for safe keeping.

And the most important part of a great barbecue — have fun!
 
Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/bbq-iq.html
https://www.cpsc.gov/content/cpsc-releases-grill-safety-tips

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