Barbecue Safety

Grilling with Huge Flame

Summer grilling is a favorite American pastime. But barbecue grills present many safety risks. Use the following practical tips for a safe, fun, and healthy barbecue cookout!

Food Safety Tips

  • To avoid food poisoning, marinate all meats and vegetables in the refrigerator and place any seared, sous-vide, or boiled meat straight onto the grill. If you don’t plan to grill pre-cooked meat right away, be sure to pre-cook it at a high enough temperature or quick-chill it in ice to kill bacteria. Then, store it in the refrigerator immediately.

  • Thoroughly wash all plates, utensils, and surfaces that have come into contact with raw meat.

  • Cook meats to their respective recommended internal temperatures. Invest in a good meat thermometer to ensure your meat, poultry, and seafood has reached a safe internal temperature hot enough to kill bacteria.

  • Keep vegetables intended for grilling separate from raw meat to avoid contamination.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Ensure the grill is located far from buildings and structures to prevent fires.

  • Clean your grill often. Grease is very flammable, and excess fat collecting inside your grill can cause dangerous flare-ups.

  • Regularly inspect your gas grill for leaks, damage, and obstructions.

  • Always turn off the gas completely after you’re finished grilling.

  • Use extreme caution when using lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill—never add fluid to an open flame.

  • Keep a spray bottle filled with water near the grill to extinguish minor flare-ups.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher within a few feet of your grill (and make sure you know how to use it!) in case of an emergency.

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