National Grilling Month: Tips for a Safe Grilling Experience

After a long winter, July is a good time to do some of your best outdoor cooking.  Summer is in full swing, with longer days and more sunlight. It is no wonder that families, friends and neighbors are all outside firing up their smokers and grills enjoying the summer fun.


Whether you are a grilling novice or expert, grilling safety should always be a priority.  Here are a few grilling and food safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Place grill away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  2. Keep children and pets away from the grill area to avoid accidents.
  3. Never leave your grill unattended.
  4. If you’re using a propane grill and you smell gas, turn the burners and propane off.

When it comes to food safety, whenever you are cooking or grilling, there is a chance for harmful bacteria to make an unwelcome appearance at your outdoor gathering.  Warmer temperatures cause foodborne bacteria to flourish; therefore, it is important to keep your food safe and tasty.

  1. When handling any food, wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. This ensures that your hands are germ-free and reduces the risk of cross-contamination.  If you do not have clean water available, bring along some hand sanitizer or wipes.
  2. Be sure to keep raw foods away from cooked and prepared food sources. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in separate containers and use separate cooking utensils for raw and prepared foods. This avoids cross-contamination.
  3. A handy food thermometer ensures that safe temperatures are met. Cold foods should be below 40 degrees and hot foods should be above 140 degrees until served.
  4. Remove grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

The Bellevue University Library has some wonderful resources to get you started.  All items can be borrowed for three (3) weeks.

Bring It!: Tried and true recipes for potlucks and casual entertaining. By Ali Rosen. TX715.R8339 2018.

A culinary history of the Nebraska Sand Hills: Recipes and recollections from prairie kitchens. By Christianna Reinhardt TX715.2.M53 R45 2014

New prairie kitchen: Stories and seasonal recipes from chefs, farmers, and artisans of the Great Plains.  By Summer Miller TX715.2.M53 M55 2015

Happy Grilling!


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