Burgers and Brats – Quick Grilling Safety Tips

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:06 AM

Grilling SafetyFire up the grill, it’s summertime! The warmer weather encourages people to wheel the grill out of the garage and more actively use the public grills available at parks. While picnics and grilling can be fun, it’s important to remember to be safe.

Jerry Leikin, MD, Medical Toxicologist at NorthShore, offers the following instructions for ensuring proper food preparation and grill safety:

  • Check the temperature. Most meats (including poultry, ground beef and pork) should be cooked to 160-165 degrees. Depending on how well done you like your steak, temperatures can vary. If it’s pink, chances are it isn’t completely done.
  • Exercise proper food handling to avoid contamination. Keep all food and surfaces clean. Don’t reuse plates or utensils that have been in contact with raw meats or meat juices.
  • Dress the part. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that may be able to catch on fire quickly. It also might not be a bad idea to wear closed-toed shoes. If you’re worried about stains, then keep that grilling apron on.
  • Use your grill strictly outdoors. Grills should not be used indoors or in enclosed areas (including your garage), as they release carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases. Keeping your grill in the open air may also reduce the chances of unwanted fire.
  • Keep gas and other flammable materials away from the grill. These items should not be located near your grill at any time as they increase the risk of fire.
  • Watch your kids. Grills heat up fast and the last thing you want is for someone to get burned or hurt right before mealtime. Make sure you warn your kids about the dangers of a grill and don’t let them get too close.
  • Stay well hydrated. When the grill and temperatures are hot, you want to be sure you are getting enough fluids to avoid any sun-related illnesses.

What are some of your favorite foods to grill?

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