Barbecue Food Safety

Late summer brings many opportunities for eating outdoors–camping, cookouts and picnics. Be sure to follow these barbecue food safety rules while enjoying the weather!

  1. Clean your hands. Ideally, you’d wash with soap and water, but an alcohol-based sanitizer will do in a pinch.
  2. If you are traveling with food, pack uncooked meats separately from ready to eat foods like cheese, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Use separate utensils for cooked and uncooked meats. Don’t put cooked meat back onto a plate that held raw meat.
  4. The only way to definitively know if your food is cooked enough is to use a food thermometer and check the internal temperature of the meat.
  5. Perishable foods shouldn’t sit outside for more than two hours and only one hour if it’s over 90°F. If they have sat out for longer, you should throw them out.
  6. Keep foods cool by keeping them in your coolers or on top of ice baths.
  7. Cover foods to keep out pesky insects.
  8. When you get home or finish cooking, clean out your coolers, grills, and picnic bags so mold or critters don’t find their way in there.

Here are some recipes to try at your next outing: Grilled Orange Chicken, Pasta Salad, Roasted Corn and Chipotle Salsa, and Easy Peach Crisp.

Written by Rachel Caty MPH, RDN, LDN