Summer is right around the corner and the grills are being cleaned and readied for the first cookout of the season. While cooking on a barbecue is a national pastime, it is also something to take seriously. Food-borne illnesses and fires are two very real dangers.
While you clean your grill, make sure that your brush is maintained properly. The steel can loosen over time through the constant scrubbing and leave steel hairs on the grill grate. This steel can transfer to your food and lodge itself in someone’s throat.
There are more than 6,000 fires reported every year from outdoor grills. If using a propane grill, always check your connections before turning it on. Be careful when igniting and re-igniting the grill.
If using a charcoal grill, be conscientious of using lighter fluid. Never pour lighter fluid directly onto a fire because the fire can jump back into the can and cause an explosion. After grilling, make sure to discard of the hot coals properly. Use water to saturate them.
Do not wear loose clothing that could catch on fire while cooking and always grill outside away from structures. You should never grill inside for risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and risk of fire. Be careful not to spill gas or lighter fluid on your clothes. Remember the stop, drop and roll technique in case of fire.
Food-borne illnesses can easily be passed from raw to cooked meat and poultry. Never use the same plate for raw and cooked meat. Bacteria in raw meat can easily transfer to cooked meat. Remember to check your food’s temperature and make sure that your food is cooked thoroughly.
Fire safety is of the utmost importance with summertime cookouts. Contact your AAA Insurance Agent and make sure your homeowner’s policy is up to date and check your fire extinguishers.