Grilling Out? Follow These Tips to Grill Safely and Prevent Foodborne Illness

Grill like a PRO!

Grilling Out? Follow These Tips to Grill Safely and Prevent Foodborne Illness
Image: Pixabay
May 8, 2018

With longer and warmer days upon us, many people across the country are firing up the grill for a cookout. If you're one of them, follow these tips to grill like a PRO and keep everyone safe from foodborne illness.

P: Place the Thermometer

Once you think your meat is done cooking, check the internal temperature by inserting a meat thermometer 1.5 to two inches deep into the thickest part. Insert the thermometer from the side if the meat is thin, such as a hamburger patty or chicken breast. Make sure it reaches all the way to the center of the meat.

R: Read the Temperature

You'll need to wait 10 to 20 seconds to get an accurate temperature reading. When you grill, use these internal temperature guidelines:

  • For beef, pork, lamb, veal (steaks, roasts, and chops), and fish: 145 degrees Fahrenheit/63 degrees Celsius, with a three-minute rest time
  • For ground meats (except poultry): 150 degrees Fahrenheit/71 degrees Celsius
  • For whole poultry, poultry breasts, and ground poultry: 165 degrees Fahrenheit/74 degrees Celsius

O: Off the Grill

Once the meat has reached its safe minimum internal temperature, take it off the grill and put it on a clear platter. Don't put it on the same platter that held raw meat. And clean your thermometer probe with either hot, soapy water or a disposable wipe.

Other Important Grilling Facts

Remember the following important facts once you've finished grilling to minimize your risk of foodborne illness:

  • Do not leave perishable food out for more than two hours.
  • Do not leave food out in hot weather (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than one hour.

For more information about safe grilling practices, consumers can contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854.