Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Food Safety When Grilling This Summer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 6 Americans get some kind of foodborne illness each year. During summer, Americans frequently cook outdoors. This can present food safety challenges, like not having refrigerators or sinks nearby.

Wash Hands
o Handwashing is an excellent way to reduce food safety risks.
o If sinks are not available where grilling, rig a portable handwashing station with a cooler with a spigot, liquid soap, and paper towels. Or use moist towelettes and alcohol-based hand sanitizing wipes.

• Cook to Temperature
o Use food thermometers to check the temperature of meats
o Props: [Caitlin will have multiple food thermometers to showcase]
o Screen text: [Optionally, put safe cooking temperatures (bullet points below) on viewer’s TV screen]
 Beef burgers – 160°F
 Turkey burgers – 165°F
 Salmon – 145°F
 Steak and pork chops – 145°F

• Skip Cross-Contamination
o Be aware of what you touch with your hands. For example, avoid touching raw meat and then handling ready-to-eat foods like burger buns without washing hands first.
o Same for taking raw burgers – or other foods – out to the grill. Do not return cooked burgers to the plate that held raw burger.
o Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods on separate cutting boards and use with separate knives.

Chill Leftovers
o In the enjoyment of time outside and talking with friends and family, set a timer to refrigerate any foods you want to save within 2 hours. Once burgers – or other foods – come off the grill, start that 2 hour timer. Once the potato salad comes out of the fridge and the baked beans come off the stove, start that 2 hour timer.

o If the temperature outside is 90°F or hotter, set that timer for 1 hour. Bacteria that can cause foodborne illness will grow faster in warmer temperatures.

Resource for Viewers:

Caitlin Mellendorf
Nutrition & Wellness Educator & Registered Dietitian
University of Illinois Extension
Serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties