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Summer Tips: Grilling Safely

summer tips grilling safely

Summer is the peak season for food poisoning because warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. In order to enjoy a delicious and safe grilling season, follow these simple steps.


At the grocery store, pick up meat, poultry, and seafood last before checking out. Keep them separate from other foods in your shopping cart and grocery bags.


Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. If you need to transport these products, keep them in an insulated cooler at 40°F or below.


In order to prevent cross-contamination, wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Also wash cooking surfaces, utensils, and the grill. To wash your grill, use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface. If using a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface for wire bristles that may have dislodged.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

Discard of marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill.


Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and seafood is cooked to an internal temperature hot enough to kill harmful germs. 

Below are the safe internal temperatures of various grill meats WHEN GRILLING:

  • 145°F—whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
  • 145°F—fish
  • 160°F—hamburgers and other ground beef
  • 165°F—all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs

AFTER GRILLING, the internal temperature of all grill meats should be 140°F or warmer until served.


Leftovers should be divided into smaller portions and stored in covered, shallow containers. Place in the freezer or refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking (or 1 hour if outside temperature is above 90°F).