Grilling & Chilling - A Guide to Eating Safely All Summer Long
As the temperature heats up, we move outside to enjoy the sunshine while we cook delicious, nutritious and healthy foods on the grill.
By following a few simple steps you can cook safely, prevent illness and avoid injuries this summer.
- Always clean the grill before using to eliminate build-up and prevent fire hazards.
- Always have a fire extinguisher handy any time an open flame is used just in case a blaze gets out of control. A squirt bottle with water can be used to douse small flare-ups.
- Use a metal stem instant read thermometer (test 0-220°F) to test cooking temperatures inside the thickest part of the food to ensure that harmful bacteria are killed.
- Use a clean tray and tongs to bring cooked foods to the dinner table.
- NEVER re-use the tongs or tray that previously touched raw meat or seafood. Harmful bacteria can cross-contaminate ready to eat foods and make you and your family very ill.
- Keep foods cold (at or below 41°F) before grilling.
- Use separate ice containers for your raw meat and seafood, your beverage cans, and your ready to eat foods like tomatoes, onions, lettuce,
- Cool and refrigerate cooked foods promptly to prevent regrowth of harmful bacteria and food contamination.
- Keep foods covered to prevent pests (flies and bugs) from contaminating them.
Use the following temperature chart to ensure grilling safety:
- Pasta salad, fruit salad and deli trays support the rapid growth of bacteria too, so keep them cold.
- When these foods sit on a table without being on ice, be sure to place them back in the cooler or refrigerator within two hours to prevent a foodborne illness.
Poultry such as chicken and turkey 165°F
Ground beef or pork and wieners 155°F
Whole cuts of beef or pork 145°F
Fish and seafood 145°F
Potatoes or veggies 135°F
If you have additional questions about how to keep your food safe during the summer months, please call the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at (216)201-2000 or visit our website at www.ccbh.net