Lifestyle

Fresh off the Grill — 7 Tips to ensure you grill safely this summer

Marshalee Valentine

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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According to the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, food poisoning usually peaks in summer months when warmer temperatures cause food-borne pathogens to proliferate. In my previous article, we looked at some very useful tips to ensure that you take care when handling food to be served outdoors — and if you were paying attention, you would have seen that beautiful spread on 'Surprising things that you can cook on the grill”. Since your menu this summer will perhaps include something grilled, I'll share some very important tips on preparing those foods in a manner that ensures you serve tasty and safe food to your family and friends.

1. No matter what you decide to grill — fruits, pizza, pound cake, meat, poultry, oyster, shrimp — you need to ensure that cooking temperatures are adhered to. Refer to your safe food temperature charts and invest in a thermometer, especially if you plan on grilling through the summer.

2. Keep food warm on the grill until you're ready to serve, by putting them on the warming racks if present, or to the side. Ensure foods are consumed immediately after you remove from the grill.

3. If you pre-cook your foods prior to grilling, to reduce grilling time, ensure that this is done immediately before you place the food on the grill. Please try to avoid driving to the country with partially cooked pork and chicken in your trunk.

4. Ensure you marinate foods in the refrigerator. Additionally, if you plan on using marinade to cook a separate sauce, ensure you separate the portion needed before you add meat, fish or poultry to the mix.

5. Avoid using the same containers and utensils used with raw meat to serve your perfectly grilled finished meal. Ensure you have clean utensils and serving platters on hand to prevent bacteria from raw food juices contaminating your ready-to-serve meals.

6. Please ensure you are aware of the diet restrictions of your group and use a separate grill for allergens such as seafood. If you only have one grill, ensure you clean properly, or you can prepare allergenic products first and then other foods.

7. Invest in a grill with stainless steel racks and keep it clean at all times. Additionally, please keep your grill, utensils and containers clean.

Quick Tip: Even though you may be grilling fruits and veggies, ensure you keep these separate from your uncooked meat, poultry and seafood.

Happy grilling!


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