Money, Health, and Other Things

Educational Blog in the Area of Family and Consumer Sciences for the Middle Peninsula

Six Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing


Getting ready to do some barbecuing with the nice weather? Here are six food safety tips to keep everyone healthy and happy!

  1. One of the often-overlooked sources of food poisoning is using a pair of tongs for placing raw meat on the grill and using the same tongs later for the cooked meat. Assuming it’s not feasible to continually rewash your tongs, consider using multiple pairs of tongs, one for the raw meat and one for taking the cooked meat off the grill.
  2. Be sure to safely thaw your food. Thaw in the refrigerator or submerge in cool or cold running potable (safe to drink) water. If you need your food thawed more quickly, thaw in the microwave using the defrost setting, or thaw your food as part of the cooking process. The biggest thing to avoid is thawing on the counter at room temperature; the food will thaw unevenly which can result in the inner portions of the food still being frozen while the outer portions have had hours of time above 40 degrees, allowing for exponential bacterial growth.
  3. To reduce the chances of cross contamination, have one person focus on just the task of preparing the meat, using a knife and cutting board that will only be used for that raw meat. That person should avoid helping with other food tasks, answering phones, taking out the trash, etc. until they are completely done with preparing the meat and have adequately washed their hands. If you’re the only person preparing the food, try and prepare the meat, from start to finish, without doing any other tasks in between.
  4. Try not to rely on just cooking times and the appearance of the meat to determine if it’s been adequately cooked. Instead, use a food-grade thermometer to ensure the food has reached the proper internal temperature, testing at the thickest, most internal portion of the meat.
  5. When marinating, marinate meat, poultry, and seafood in the fridge instead of leaving it out on the counter. Also, be sure not to use the leftover marinade you used for the raw meat as a serving sauce on the cooked meat.
  6. Keep your hot food hot, at least 140 degrees, and your cold food cold, below 40 degrees, for as long as you can, and don’t leave food in the Temperature Danger Zone, between 40-140 degrees, for too long! The “Cooking for Crowds” curriculum suggest leaving food in the Temperature Danger Zone for no longer than 2 hours before consuming, and on those hot summer days where it’s 85 degrees or warmer, pathogens can grow even more rapidly, so food should be in the Temperature Danger Zone for no longer than 1 hour before consuming.



3 thoughts on “Six Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing

  1. Pingback: Money, Health, and Other Things – Six Food Safety Tips for Barbecuing | Gloucester Resource Council

  2. Pingback: FAT-TOM | Money, Health, and Other Things

  3. Pingback: Money, Health, and Other Things – FAT-TOM | Gloucester Resource Council

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