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person grilling meat and veggies - food safety to prevent foodborne illnessFiring up the grill this summer? Follow these BBQ food safety tips to prevent foodborne illness.

As the weather warms up, many of us will take our dinner prep outdoors and enjoy food from the grill. But it’s important to remember that instances of food poisoning rise in the summer months, with bacteria multiplying more quickly in higher temps. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect against foodborne illness and all its unpleasant symptoms. Below, we highlight helpful grilling safety tips to minimize germs.

Grilling Safety Tips

  1. Wash your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food. If there is no running water where you’re cooking, plan ahead and bring disposable wipes, hand sanitizer, or water, soap, and paper towels.
  2. Keep uncooked meat, poultry and seafood below 40°F. Leave your meat in the fridge until it’s time to grill. Or if you are on the go, use an insulated cooler.
  3. Avoid cross-contamination with marinades and utensils. If you plan on using a marinade as a dressing or sauce, save a separate portion in the fridge or cooler. Throw out marinades that have contacted raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Use clean utensils and a clean platter to serve cooked foods.
  4. Use a food thermometer. Cook your food thoroughly and ensure it reaches a safe temperature by using a food thermometer.
    • 145°F – whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (let stand for 3 minutes before serving)
    • 145°F – fish
    • 160°F – hamburgers, ground beef
    • 165°F – poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
  5. Refrigerate. Don’t let food sit out too long. Food should be refrigerated after 2 hours — 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F.

Always follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of foodborne illness! Consuming contaminated food can lead to food poisoning, with mild to severe symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

If you develop severe symptoms after a cook-out, head into our clinic. Our friendly medical team is available to evaluate and treat instances of foodborne illness, with no appointment necessary.