Food Safety: 5 Tips for Safe Grilling and Delicious Barbecue
This is especially true when you’re new at grilling because you are always handling raw meat and still figuring out how to cook them thoroughly. But just by following a few simple tips, you can ensure safe grilling and at the same time, delicious and perfectly-cooked barbecue dishes.
Here are 5 easy tips to follow for food safety while working the grill:
1. Prepare your ingredients before grilling
It is the number one rule of any chef or griller to have all ingredients ready and in place before the cooking process begins. When preparing fruits and vegetables for the grill, make sure they are thoroughly washed even if you are going to cook them peeled. When it comes to meat, it is more ideal not to rinse them before cooking as bacteria can spread faster if the juices are splashed onto your counter or sink.
2. Thaw frozen meat the safe way
One important rule in grilling is to never barbecue frozen meat. Otherwise, you will end up with a steak that’s cooked on the outside but raw on the inside. Having said this, it is important to thaw your meat before it hits the grill. There are many ways to do this but experts say that the safest method is to thaw frozen meat inside the refrigerator. You can also safely re-freeze refrigerator-thawed meat if you decide to cook it later instead. While there are quicker methods like using running water or the microwave, inside the refrigerator is where your meat will be safest from bacteria. On the other hand, meat will be most exposed to bacteria if thawed using hot water or in room temperature.
3. Separate raw food from cooked ones
It is vital to keep your raw and cooked food separate to avoid cross contamination. Be sure that you use separate containers and different utensils for each. It is also a must to wash your hands thoroughly before cooking especially if you have touched raw fish or meat.
4. Cook your meat thoroughly
Make sure that you cook meat, poultry and seafood evenly and thoroughly to lower the risk of food-borne illnesses. This can be achieved by using the right cooking temperature. It is ideal to use a good quality food thermometer while grilling meat especially if you’re a beginner.
5. Take food out just before eating
Cooking on the grill takes some time, especially when you’re serving a crowd. If you’re serving other dishes like salads or soups, make sure that you keep perishable ingredients in the refrigerator until everyone is ready to eat.
Follow these simple tips the next time you take out your grill for a more enjoyable and worry-free barbecue!
Adrian T. Cheng