Barbecue Food Safely

May 21, 2020

With summer approaching, the traditional barbecue season is about to begin. As the weather warms up, more people cook outdoors than any other time of the year. Warm temperatures are also ideal for bacteria and other pathogens to multiply and cause foodborne illness. Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely.

• Take meat and poultry straight home from the store and refrigerate. Keep a cooler in your vehicle to store perishable foods in during your trip back home if you live a long distance from the grocery store.

• Marinate foods in a refrigerator. Do not reuse marinade unless boiled.

• Do not use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meats.

• Keep hot foods hot! After cooking meat on the grill, keep it hot until served, at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

• Cook all meats thoroughly and use a thermometer to determine when meat has reached a final cooking temperature. Ground meat other than poultry should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit; all poultry products should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit; beef, veal and lamb steaks roasts and chops can be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information visit the web site

• Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer within 2 hours of taking the food off the grill or 1 hour if the air temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice large pieces of meat into smaller portions to enable it to cool faster.
Whether you are a novice at barbecuing or a professional, keep your food safe. Use a thermometer, wash your hands, and avoid cross contamination. Let’s make sure the only thing “special” about your barbecue is your sauce.
For more information about food safety, contact your local University of Missouri Extension office.