Keep Your Grilling Season Safe
By Donna Stark
Just like peanut butter and jelly, summer and grilling belong together. But just because they belong together doesn't mean there isn't an element of danger present when you pull out that grill. It's important to pay attention to how you are storing, cooking, and serving your food because if you aren't careful, you may be setting yourself and your loved ones up for a nasty bout of food poisoning. And if there is anything that you will want to avoid, it's that. So, in the spirit of keeping everyone safe while also ensuring they can enjoy a good meal, here are some safety tips that you can look over.
Maintain a Clean Grill
Follow the proper maintenance instructions in your grill's manual. Invest in a sturdy grill brush and clean the racks before and after each use. You will want to make sure that there is no charred food left on them and that any buildup of grease is wiped away.
Find a Safe Spot
It is always best to position your grill on a stable surface away from any structures or low-hanging tree branches and patio covers. The reason for this is to protect yourself from fire caused by high-reaching flames. You should also consider keeping a fire extinguisher nearby.
Watch the Temperature of Food
It is very important to keep your cold food (red meat, poultry, and fish) cold until you are actually ready to grill. It is also wise to use a food thermometer while cooking to ensure that all the bacteria have been killed.
Avoid using the same dishes, cutting boards, or utensils for your raw and cooked foods. Make sure that the plate being used to carry out the raw steaks is not the same plate you use to serve off of and that you use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables.
Marinating your meat is one of the best ways to add flavor to your meal, but once you place it on the grill, you should discard the leftover marinade. Don't use it as a "gravy" for your cooked meat as it may be filled with dangerous bacteria.
Watch Children and Pets
Keep an eye on the little ones. Teach your kids the importance of maintaining a safe distance and being mindful of their toys and where they play. It's also a good idea to keep pets as far away from the grill as you can too! A delicious-smelling steak may be too tempting for your four-legged friend to ignore.
Enjoying Summer Grilling
Backyard picnics are the summer thing to do and of course, you will want to make sure all your loved ones are having fun. So, grill smart and keep everyone safe for the next time around.
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