It’s summer, and that can only mean one thing—barbecue season! Grilling outside is definitely more relaxed and less formal. But you still need to be vigilant about food safety. The following are some safety tips from the US Department of Agriculture:

  • Wash hands, utensils, containers, and work surfaces before handling food to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading.
  • Marinate foods in advance, in the refrigerator using a glass or plastic food-safe container.
  • Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut-up fruit and vegetables, and perishable dairy products.
  • Separate raw meats, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods including fruits, vegetables, salads, cheeses, and desserts. Use separate coolers, plates, and utensils.
  • Keep cold food in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Transport the cooler in the passenger area of your car, not in the hot trunk. At the picnic site, cover the cooler with a blanket and place it in the shade.
  • Throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than 1 hour. Store the rest in a cooler that still has ice. If all the ice has melted, throw away the food.
  • Bring a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.
  • Bring hand sanitizer if your picnic site doesn’t have hand-washing facilities.

Disclaimer: Content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.