Fire up the grill — it’s National Grilling Month!

We have plenty of items that are great for grilling — meats, veggies, even fruits.

However, this is a good time to remind everyone that safety should always come first, especially when you are grilling.

Before You Start

Between 2011 and 2015, the National Fire Protection Association said there was an average of 9,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, with July being the peak month for such fires.

A fire is guaranteed to put a damper on your summer festivities. That’s why we found some great tips from Nationwide Insurance on grill safety. Click here to find a complete list of safety tips.

Here are just a few:

• Make sure your grill is away from structures or overhanging branches.
• Set up your grill on a flat, even surface and make sure it’s stable. Protect your patio or deck with a splatter mat.
• Keep your grill clean. Be sure to dump the trays that contain grease. If using charcoal, make sure that the coals are completely cool before discarding.
• Check for propane leaks.
• Be careful with lighter fluid.
• And always be ready to put out a fire.

Grilling Guide

Did you know that undercooked chicken is the number 1 food cause of food poisoning?

FoodSafety.gov has plenty of information on how to keep everyone safe during this grilling season.

So the most important tool you have is a meat thermometer as your best line of defense against undercooked food. To properly use a thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the meat. For something thinner such as a chicken breast or hamburger, insert it from the side.

Wait about 10 seconds for accurate temperature readings; follow the instructions with the specific thermometer.

Before serving, the thermometer must reach the following:
• Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest time
• Ground meats: 160 degrees F
• Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165 degrees F

Once it has reached its temperature, place the cooked food on a clean plate. Do not place it on the same plate that held raw meat or poultry.

Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or visit AskKaren.gov to chat with a food safety specialist. Follow @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter to receive daily tips and information on recalled food.

Stop by Orr’s Farm Market for all of your grilling needs. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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