This is the season for grilling out. Whether you prepare a whole meal on the grill or just part, make sure your cookout is safe by following these tips:
C = Clean your grill by using a wire brush and wiping down with a cloth to make sure you don’t leave any bristles behind. Avoid leaving the charred buildup on your grill which may transfer to your food.
O = Observe food safety by washing your hands before and after handling raw foods.
O = Off with excess fat on meat to prevent flare-ups, which contain chemicals linked to various types of cancer. If grilling meat, poultry, or fish use marinates to reduce the formation of potential carcinogens and grill on lower heat. You can also put your meat on foil with holes to help prevent some flare-ups.
K = Keep raw foods separated from cooked foods. Always use a clean plate for your cooked foods. Keep utensils and surfaces clean.
O = Observe other food safety rules. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Only allow food to be at room temperature for two hours and then refrigerate. If the temperature is 90° F outside only allow food to be out for one hour.
U = Use a thermometer to check if meat is cooked to the proper temperatures. Beef, pork, lamb and fish should be at least 145°F, hamburgers and ground meats to 160°F, and poultry, ground poultry, and pre-cooked meats like hot dogs should be 165°F. Meats and poultry may brown quickly and appear to be done when they are not thoroughly cooked yet.
T = Try vegetables and fruits on the grill. Grilling increases the flavor and they don’t develop any harmful carcinogens. Enjoy vegetables and fruits on the grill!
S = Spray Bottle with water should be handy to control flare-ups on the grill to keep down the formation of potential carcinogens when grilling meat.
Enjoy your cookouts and be food safe!
Pat Brinkman is the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for OSU Extension in Fayette County.