May is National BBQ Month
For most Texans, there is no such thing as a “BBQ season” as we grill year-round. Still, we can’t deny that this time of year is the best to enjoy some good old fashion family barbecues, and because of this, it should come as no surprise that May is National BBQ Month.
BBQ Safety Tips
Before you go all out and put that nice brisket on the grill to simmer and slow cook for hours, make sure you are taking all the precautions to keep your loved ones, yourself, and your home, safe!
Before you start your BBQ feast, take the time to browse our BBQ Safety Tips.
Grilling is an Outdoor Activity
Our first BBQ Safety Tip is too keep it outdoors. Aside from the fun of being outdoors on a warm sunny day and not having your home smell like a smokehouse, there are some important reasons why you should never fire up your charcoal or propane gas grill indoors:
- – You risk something catching fire
- – You and your loved ones could be affected by smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide
Check Your Grill Before You Use It
Our second BBQ Safety Tip is to make sure that everything is in proper working order before you get the fun started.
- – Make sure your grill is clean, remove all grease and fat buildup from the grills and catch pans.
- – Ensure sure all gas connection points on your propane grill are tight and installed correctly before you turn it on.
- – Check for leaks by applying a little soap and water to the hose, if there are no bubbles your grill is safe to use, if however, you see bubbles, turn off the gas tank and tighten the connections, if the bubbles continue you should have it serviced, if however, the leak continues even after you have turned off the gas tank, back away and call the fire department immediately.
Separate Meats, Veggies, and Other Foods
BBQ Safety Tip #3 is to separate, don’t contaminate. When you go shopping keep these tips in mind:
- – Buy non-perishable foods first
- – Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Fish should be purchased last
- – Keep meat items separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination
Refrigeration is Key
“Don’t be a spoiler”, is BBQ Safety Tip #4. Regardless of whether you are grilling at home or at a park, food needs to be kept at the right temperature, so it won’t spoil.
- – Raw Meats, produce, and dairy products need to be stored at temperatures below 41°F to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
- – If you are transporting the food do so in an insulated cooler with a temperature below 40°F.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Our forth BBQ Safety Tip is, “Don’t be mean and keep it clean!” Starting from your prep station all the way to your grill, things should be kept clean.
- – Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
- – Wash all surfaces and utensils before and after cooking
- – Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked items from the grill
- – Don’t reuse marinades or sauces that have touched raw meat juices
Cook Your Meat Properly
It’s showtime! Our BBQ Safety Tip #5 is a cooking temperature guide. Meat, fish, and poultry need to reach a minimum internal temperature to ensure harmful bacteria are killed. The following chart will show what temperatures are needed for each meat type:
- 145°F for all cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
- 145°F for seafood
- 160°F for hamburgers or other ground meats
- 165°F for all types of poultry and pre-cooked meats like hotdogs
- Keep meat at a temperature of 140°F until served.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of having been cooked. On hot days you have a maximum of 1 hour to store your leftovers. Our final BBQ safety tip is to avoid from eating leftovers that are too old label them and include the date.
Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency
Remember to heed our BBQ Safety Tips to stay safe and don’t overdo it with food or alcoholic beverages!
We hope you have a lovely time grilling safely from all of us here at Altus Emergency Centers. If you are ever in need of emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.
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