Three Tips for a Safe Cookout

200295822-001Cooking outdoors makes for a wonderful family meal or a great dinner party. That’s all the more reason to make sure you follow a few simple safety tips. For many outdoor cooks, refrigeration and the closest sink, is located inside the house and away from the grill. Chances are there won’t be any food safety related problems during your next outdoor grilling session but I thought sharing three safety tips would be a good idea.

Wash Your Hands

Have you read the articles about shopping cart contamination? Research from the University of Arizona found that 72 percent of shopping carts that were tested were found to be contaminated with fecal matter and a solid 50 percent also contained E.coli. How does that translate to outdoor cooking? Simple, wash your hands. Because of the outdoor setting you may be separated from your sink. Think about it. How many times do you wash your hands, rinse items and wipe down surfaces when you’re cooking in your kitchen. Hopefully the answer is either “a bunch” or “too many times to count.” This act cuts down on cross contamination.

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Grill Safety Tips

grill_safetyWith the Holidays quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to remind everyone to be safe with his or her travels and activities this season. With that in mind, here are some guidelines to make sure you are exercising caution and utilizing standard safety measures when grilling.

The first thing you should do with your grill is read the owner’s manual. No matter how familiar you think you may be with grilling, if you are getting a new grill, do yourself a favor and flip through the manual. New features and technologies are constantly becoming available, so it is important to familiarize yourself with your grill in the event something goes wrong.

The next thing that you should be very watchful of is your fire. It should go without saying that fire can be extremely dangerous, and if misused can cause severe damage, injury, and even death. Have a water sprayer handy to help reduce flare ups from grease, and also be sure to have a fire extinguisher or garden hose readily available in case your fire gets out of hand.

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