As the summer heats up, so do America’s grills.
However, if you want to avoid a trip to the doctor (or worse yet, the ER), keep the following safety tips in mind as you’re preparing for your outdoor feast:
1. To prevent possible food poisoning, always marinate foods in the refrigerator, not on the kitchen counter or outdoors. And if you plan on using some of the marinade as a sauce on the cooked food, set aside part of it for that use only. Don’t use marinade that has come in contact with food already, especially raw meat.
2. If you partially cook food to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food item goes on the hot grill.
3. Always cook food thoroughly and use a food thermometer to ensure meats have reached the proper temperatures. Steaks and roasts, for example, should reach 145 degrees, while whole poultry should reach 165 degrees. Consult food packaging for cooking instructions or research the guidelines on reputable Internet sites.
4. Grilled foods should be kept hot until served. Most people simply move the food to the side of the grill away from the flame so it will stay hot, but not overcook.