Could Your Next Cookout Make You Sick? Here’s What to Watch For.
Nothing ruins a good backyard barbecue faster than food poisoning! Follow these tips so you don't spoil the fun.
You probably know all about common food safety tips, like washing your hands after touching raw chicken (here’s how to do it right) and making sure your meats cook all the way through on the grill. But, there are a few less common ones that could lead to spoiling your food (and the fun!).
Watch Hot Foods
The leftover hot dog that’s been off the grill for a few hours is just as likely to provoke illness as warm macaroni salad. Only grill up as much food as you need, because any hot foods that dip below 135° F for more than an hour are in the danger zone.
Keep Cold Food Cold
Most of us probably avoid the mayo-laden potato salad when we arrive late to the party, but the same rule applies to other cool foods (like cut fruit and veggies). Keep your cold food below 40° F by storing it on ice (or, toss it after 2 hours).
Clean Your Grill
It might seem like those super-high grill temperatures would kill foodborne bacteria, but those pesky microbes have a way of living on. Keep the bad bacteria, mold, and charred food particles away from your edible food by cleaning your grill (learn the best way to clean your grill here!).
Don’t Reuse Platters or Cutting Boards
The easiest way to accidentally contaminate your ready-to-eat foods is by reusing platters or cutting boards. Make sure you wash your knives and cutting boards after they touch raw meats, and grab a new platter before plating up grilled foods.
Chill out Until You’re Ready
I know you’re probably anxious to get to grilling, but resist the temptation to pull out that platter of marinated meat until the grill is sufficiently preheated. Raw meats will stew in their own juices (especially if they’re sitting in the hot sun), creating a bacterial playground.