Grill It Safe this Holiday | The Family Fork

Grill It Safe this Holiday

How could I post healthy grilling tips without posting the safety stuff too? Here goes.. for a safe grilling experience:

  1. Keep it clean. Always start with a clean grill for safer as well as better cooking overall.

  2. Then wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food! (I didn't really need to put that in there, cuz you knew that already, right?).

  3. Don't cross contaminate. Prep meat, pork, poultry or fish on a separate cutting board than vegetables. Always clean your cutting board with hot soapy water after each use.

  4. Don't reuse any marinade. After the marinated food goes on the grill and you want to baste it some more, use a fresh batch of marinade (it's the cross contamination thing again). Just throw the used stuff out right away to avoid any temptations.

  5. When your food is cooked and ready to come off the grill, place it on a clean unused platter. Never put it back on the same dish it sat in when the food was raw.

  6. Remember the two hour rule. The rule of thumb with meat, pork, poultry or fish, raw or cooked, is no more than two hours out of the refrigerator. If it's over 90 degrees outside, be safe and keep it to an hour.

  7. Remember the meat thermometer to ensure you cook out any harmful bacteria (also helps you avoid overcooking). Beef steaks should reach at least 145 degrees (that'd be about medium rare), ground beef and pork to 160 degrees and chicken breast to 170 degrees.

For more food safety tips, grilling or otherwise, go to

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

(photo courtesy of D'Arcy Norman)

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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.