Grilling Tips

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Summertime and grilling are almost synonymous terms – they go together like peanut butter and jelly…which would also be good on a summertime grill!

With all the wonderful parks and campgrounds around Henderson County, there’s no reason not to take the whole family to get some great physical activity and share a healthy, grilled meal together. However, there are some food safety hazards when eating outdoors, so keep these tips to keep in mind when you grill out this summer:

  • Make sure to wash your hands! Unwashed hands are one of the leading causes of foodborne illness, so if there is no running water available, use bottled water and soap or cleansing towelettes to wash your hands
  • Keep your cold foods cold (40F or lower) to prevent growth of bacteria. Use ice or a cold pack and keep coolers closed as much as possible
  • Keep raw meat covered and separate from other ingredients to prevent cross-contamination – keep them in separate coolers or insulated bags, and make sure that you don’t reuse a dirty plate or cutting board that had raw meat on it for a fresh or cooked item
  • Thaw your meats safely – don’t leave them out on the counter, but choose one of three ways:
    • Place sealed package of meat in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf in advance to slowly thaw. Cook meat within 3 days.
    • Place sealed package of meat in cold tap water and change every 30 minutes, until thawed. Cook meat immediately.
    • Place meat in a microwave-safe dish and use the defrost setting on microwave, using the weight of the meat being thawed. Cook meat immediately.
  • Cook meats thoroughly and check for minimum temperature by using a thermometer
  • Once food is served, don’t let it sit out for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is over 90F). Once that time limit is reached, discard the food to prevent risk of foodborne illness

For some grilled vegetable ideas, try using this guide to approximate grilling time and recommended seasonings!

grill guide

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