Grill Food Safety: Tips and Tricks to a Great BBQ Experience

Summer is in full swing! High temperatures, lazy afternoons, and days by the pool. The only thing that could make it any better is a good ol’ barbeque. Going into barbequing season it is important to remember and practice food safety. Here are some tips below:


  • Separate: When you are shopping, put meat, chicken and other poultry, and seafood in separate bags to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Chill: Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until you’re ready to grill. When transporting keep the meat at 40°F or below in an insulated cooler.
  • Thaw and Marinate: Harmful bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or microwave. Always marinate your food in the refrigerator.
  • Clean: Wash your hands! You should wash before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wash work surfaces and utensils with hot soapy water before and after cooking.
  • Check Your Grill and Tools: Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean your grill. If you use a wire brush to clean your grill, inspect the surface afterward as it is easy for bristles to fall out and dislodge into your food.
  • Don’t Cross-Contaminate: Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meats. This exposure can spread bacteria to cooked foods. Use clean utensils and plates to remove cooked meat from the grill. Do not place cooked meat back on the same plate that had raw meat on it.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to ensure food is cooked hot enough to kill harmful bacteria. Use the following temperatures as a guild.

145°F—whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal

145°F—fish (or cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork)

160°F—hamburgers and other ground beef

165°F—all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs

After grilling, keep food hot:

140°F or warmer—until it is served

  • Refrigerate: Put cooked meat in the freezer or fridge within 2 hours of cooking. Divide leftovers into small portions and place them in covered shallow containers.


Do not forget food safety this summer. It is essential to have a good and healthy food experience. Happy grilling!

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