Summer means getting together with good friends and good food outside. Making sure your grill is operated safely and food is handled correctly is important, so follow these guidelines:
- Make sure smoke is not a nuisance to a neighbor.
- Use an approved container designed for barbecuing.
- Keep grills at least 10 feet from any combustible material or structure, such as a house, garage or deck.
- Only use the fuel for which your grill is designed.
- Have a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of water nearby just in case, and close the lid when done cooking.
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- Wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before, between and after handling each different food item.
- Clean utensils, cutting boards and countertops with hot, soapy water before and after preparing each food item.
- Place cooked meat on a clean plate.
- Store all meat products in separate containers or bags that seal.
- Use a metal stemmed food thermometer to check the final cooking temperature of meat and poultry. Roasts and steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 150°F, ground beef and pork to 160°F, fish to 145°F and whole poultry to 180°F.
- Refrigerate cooked foods promptly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.