The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Think safety when cooking outdoors

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.
  • Click here for additional grilling tips

Food handling

  • 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.

Email for information on grilling safety and for food handling guidance.