How To Keep Your Food Safe When Grilling?

Almost everyone enjoys a good grilled meal during the summertime. However, it’s important to remember that grilling can be dangerous if proper food safety precautions aren’t taken. In this blog post, I’ll provide you with some tips on how to keep your food safe when grilling. Enjoy!

Why Food Safety When Grilling Is Important?

When grilling, it is important to pay attention to food safety in order to avoid potentially harmful bacteria from making you sick. Some simple tips to follow include ensuring that your grill is clean before use, keeping raw meat and cooked meat separate, cooking food all the way through and avoiding cross-contamination.

Additionally, this is important to be aware of the risk of food-borne illness when cooking for others, especially those who are immune-compromised or have underlying health conditions. By taking some basic precautions, you can help keep everyone safe and enjoy a healthy meal!

Dangers Of Under-cooking Meat And Poultry!

When grilling meat and poultry, it is important to cook it all the way through to destroy any kind of harmful bacteria that may be present. Undercooked meat can be a breeding ground for bacteria and can make you very sick if consumed. However, below are the dangers of undercooked meat and poultry: 

1. Salmonella Poisoning

It is the most common danger of consuming undercooked meat and poultry. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe issues, it can lead to death. You can avoid this by cooking your meat and poultry all the way through.

2. E. Coli Poisoning 

It is a bacteria that is found in the intestine of animals. It can cause severe bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure. In some cases, it can be fatal. 

3. Campylobacteriosis 

It’s one of the most common food-borne illnesses in the United States. Symptoms include diarrhea (often bloody), severe abdominal pain, and fever. Some people also experience vomiting and sickness. In extreme cases, it can lead to death. 

4. Listeriosis 

It is a serious infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal problems. It can also lead to septicemia, meningitis, and death. A recent outbreak in the United States was linked to undercooked chicken.

5. Trichinosis 

It’s a parasitic disease caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever. It can lead to death. While it is more common in pork, it can also be found in bear and walrus meat. 

6. Yersiniosis 

It is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea (often bloody), and fever. With the right treatment, most people recover within a week. However, some people may experience long-term problems such as arthritis.

7. STEC Infection 

STEC stands for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. It is a type of bacteria that can cause severe bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure. From 2009 to 2010, there was an outbreak in the United States linked to undercooked ground beef. 

As you will see, there are a lot of dangers associated with undercooked meat and poultry. To avoid these risks, cook your food all the way through!

Tips On Safe Grilling Practices, Including Proper Food Handling And Hygiene!

Safe grilling practices are important in order to avoid food-borne illness. If you follow these tips, you can help keep your food safe: 

1. Start With A Clean Grill. 

Before you start cooking, make sure your grill is clean. This will prevent bacteria from contaminating your food. Utilize a wire brush to scrub the grates, and then rinse with hot water. If you have been reading our blogs for a while, I think now you know how to clean a gas grill. So, you are aware of the safety practices!

2. Keep Raw Meat And Cooked Meat Separate. 

Use separate plates for uncooked meat and cooked meat. You should also use separate utensils. This will prevent cross-contamination. In some cases, bacteria from raw meat can be transferred to cooked meat, and this can make you sick. 

3. Wash Your Hands Often. 

Wash your hands off and on, especially after handling raw meat. Many food-borne illnesses are spread by contaminated hands. From the time you start handling raw meat until you finish cooking it, make sure to wash your hands frequently. 

4. Marinate Meat In The Refrigerator. 

If you’re going to marinate your meat, do it in the refrigerator. Allowing the meat to marinate at room temperature can increase the risk of food poisoning. Also, make sure to marinate meat in a covered container. 

5. Don’t Reuse Marinade. 

Don’t reuse marinade that has been utilized on raw meat. Bacteria can grow in the marinade, and you don’t want to contaminate your food. It is most suitable to make a fresh batch of marinade just before you are ready to use it. 

6. Preheat The Grill. 

So, make sure the grill is hot before you start cooking. If you put meat on a cold grill, it is more likely to stick, and it will take longer to cook. Although it is important to preheat the grill, you don’t want it to be too hot. A fire that is too hot can cause charring, which can increase the formation of carcinogens. 

7. Use A Food Thermometer. 

Use a food thermometer to confirm your meat is cooked all the way through. This is especially important for poultry and ground meat. For poultry, the internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For ground meat, the internal temperature should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

8. Keep Food Cold. 

Keep food cold until you’re ready to grill it. As a general rule, food should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Even on a cool day, bacteria can grow quickly if food is left out. 

9. Don’t Leave Food Out In The Sun. 

Don’t leave the food out in the sun for too long. Bacteria can grow quickly in warm temperatures. If the food is going to be in the sun for more than an hour, you should put it in a cooler. 

10. Clean Up After Grilling. 

Once you are finished grilling, make sure to clean up your utensils and plates. With proper cleaning, you can help prevent the spread of bacteria. 

By following these tips, you can keep your food safe when grilling. Remember to practice safe food handling and hygiene at all times.

Food Safety For Picnics And Tailgating!

With summer comes picnics and tailgating! Or perhaps you know some tips for the perfect backyard barbecue! If you are preparing to attend either of these activities, it’s important to follow some food safety rules. You can prevent food poisoning and other illnesses by taking some precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your food is safe while picnicking or tailgating: 

1. Keep The Hot Food Hot And Cold The Food Cold. 

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Temperature control is the key to preventing the growth of bacteria. You can keep food hot by using a crock pot or chafing dish. For cold food, use an insulated cooler. 

2. Don’t Leave Food Out For Too Long. 

Ideally, you should eat food within 2 hours of it being cooked. If it’s hot outside, you should only leave food out for 1 hour. Bacteria can grow fast in warm temperatures, so it’s important to be mindful of the time. 

3. Clean Up Your Work Area. 

You should always clean up your work area before and after preparing food. It will prevent the spread of bacteria. Wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant or antibacterial wipes. Some picnic areas may have a hose that you can use to wash down surfaces. 

4. Wash Your Hands Often. 

Washing your hands is the best ways to prevent the spread of bacteria. You should wash your hands before and after handling food. If you do not have entrance to soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer. 

5. Separate Raw Meat From Other Food. 

If you’re bringing raw meat to a picnic or tailgate, make sure to keep it separate from other food. It prevents cross-contamination. Put raw meat in a cooler by itself and use a separate cutting board and utensils when handling it. 

Some Recipes To Try!

Here are some recipes that you will try the next time you’re picnicking or tailgating. Just remember to follow the food safety tips above! 

1. Grilled Chicken: 

As you already know how to make juicy grilled chicken breast, now simply season the chicken breasts with your favorite herbs and grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes per side, or until fully cooked. 

2. Potato Salad: 

Boil potatoes and eggs until both are cooked through. Dice the eggs and potatoes and mix them in a bowl with mayonnaise, mustard, celery, and onion—season to taste with salt and pepper. 

3. Watermelon: 

Nothing says summer like watermelon! Cut up a watermelon into pieces and enjoy it as is. 


You love grilling out and enjoying good food with friends and family. However, it’s important to remember that when you are playing with fire (literally), you need to be safe too. Keep follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable grilling season. And if you don’t feel comfortable using charcoal or gas grills, get an electric grill – it is perfect for small spaces! 

To get more ideas on grilling, check out GrillCharms. Thanks for reading, and happy grilling!

John Rinder
Latest posts by John Rinder (see all)