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August 2012

Food Safety Grilling Tips Preparing foods on the grill requires an extra measure of care to prevent food borne illness. Grilling carefully can also prevent excessive smoke and charring of foods that may be unhealthy. To have a safe and fun-filled grilling experience, follow a few simple steps. Preparation: Select high quality fresh meat for the best results in outdoor grilling. Keep meat products at 40°F or less until just before grilling. Keep marinating foods in the refrigerator. Do not use marinade as a sauce on cooked meat. Wash hands before and after working with raw meat or poultry. Handle raw and cooked foods separately. Wash work surfaces, utensils and cutting boards thoroughly with hot, soapy water before and after preparing meat for grilling. Use a different cutting board for meats than for raw fruits and vegetables. After the meat is placed on the grill, immediately wash utensils and platter with hot, soapy water before using them again to serve meat. After foods have been cooked serve within two hours or refrigerate at 40°F or below. Poultry products should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F; ground beef and pork – 160°F; beef, veal and lamb steaks and roasts – 145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium. Fin fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F and shrimp, lobster and crab should be cooked until the meat is pearly and transparent in appearance. Clams, oysters and mussels should be cooked until the shells open. Cook meat thoroughly to kill all bacteria.


Grilling: Smoke and flare-ups are caused by dripping fat from meats. Choose meats that are low in fat, and trim excess fat before grilling. Avoid marinades or basting sauces that contain a lot of fat and sugar as these ingredients will cause the meat to burn quickly if left unattended. Cover the grill with aluminum foil and punch holes between the grids to let juice drip out. If dripping fat causes heavy smoke, move the food to a section of the grill with a lower temperature or rotate the grill to reduce heat. Cook meat until it is done without charring it. Remove any charred or burned skin on the surface. Do not eat it! Some foods, especially fish and vegetables can be wrapped in foil to protect them from smoke while grilling. Important tips to remember: raw meat and poultry should NOT be washed before grilling or cooking. Bacteria from raw meat and poultry can splash and spread to other surfaces. Finally, it is safe to use public grills if they are cleaned and scraped before use. SOURCE: International Food Information Council (IFIC) and Partnership for Food Safety Education (PSFSE).

For more information contact: B. Elaine Freeney Coordinator-Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program e-freeney@tamu.edu Phone: 713.440.4984 Fax: 713.440.4980

The Cooperative Extension Program serves people of all ages regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, political beliefs, and marital or family status. (Not all classes are protected by legal statutes).

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Food Safety Grilling Tips  

Food Safety Grilling Tips  

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