Avoid becoming a statistic – how to stay safe while grilling.
Grilling may well be one of the most enjoyable things people do, but it contains harm. In 2016 nearly 25,000 Americans had officially verified food poisoning cases, and just shy of 100 died. Ten Americans die, and 160 are injured every year due to barbecue and grill fires. Grilling is fantastic, but only if you follow basic safety rules such as ensuring that chicken is cooking to at least 165F.
There are many ways that microbes and bacteria can be spread. Those responsible for food poisoning are mostly passed on by touch. When cooking, you have to be sure that your Hands are washed after handling raw meat and all utensils need to be isolated and washed up. Cross-contamination can occur when raw and cooked meat meet one another and it is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Ultimately one of the most important things is to ensure all food is thoroughly cooked to the right temperature.
Gas grill safety
It is essential always to check your gas pipes and bottle before you light it up. Regardless of the system you use when cooking with gas; the lid needs to be open to avoid a potential explosion. When checking your bottles, ensure you have the right mix of propane and butane for the conditions and no rust spots. Pipes should be flexible and free from leaks or vulcanized patches.
General grill safety tips
To grill safely, you should follow basic grill safety instructions such as:
- Always keep your grill clean to avoid potential build-up of carcinogenic molecules and flare-ups.
- Use a firm wire brush and ensure that it is not shedding any bristles.
- Check your grill for any other fat or oil deposits to ensure that you can control the burn.
- Place your barbecue on a reliable and secure flat surface to avoid tipping.
Furthermore, the area around your grill needs to be free from anything that could ignite. It is strongly recommended that you keep children away from the grill and avoid excessive drinking while cooking.
We are staying safe when grilling is more than just a matter of common sense. Being mature and clear-headed does play a big part, but proper safety comes with knowledge and experience. Get into routines checking the equipment, and keeping the space around the grill safe. Always have heat-proof gloves ready to handle the grill and have an appropriate extinguisher on hand if it goes wrong. Learn how to store food properly and take a basic food hygiene course. Even something as simple as using a temperature probe properly requires some practice. Many push probes to the bone, not realizing that it can often conduct heat, leading to false readings. Investigations need to be pushed into every meat’s thickest part from the correct angle.
Grilling is an American tradition, and 75% of adults in the country own a smoker or grill, and 63% of them use it all year round. The freedom this brings comes with responsibility. It is your decision whether or not to be safe when you grill but ask yourself this – would you rather be safe or a statistic?