As you cook those steaks, burgers, pork, or chicken on the grill this weekend, make sure you’re not putting yourself and others at risk of getting sick. You know to use your food thermometer (not your eyeballs) and for whole cuts of red meat get them to 145 degrees in the center, whole cuts of poultry to at least 165, and ground meats like hamburger to 160.
You also need to make sure you’re washing your hands each step of the way, well before even putting food on the grill. Chrystal Okonta with USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline.
“Anytime you touch raw food or poultry, the immediate next step should be washing your hands. That’s the one that we’re most concerned about because our research has shown that a lot of people miss that step. They think, ‘Oh, I just handled the packaging or the juices and not the actual meat or poultry itself,’ but that can still have bacteria that can contaminate your hands and move that over to a salad or cut fruit or vegetables and those aren’t going to be cooked. So, you definitely want to make sure to wash your hands really well.”
Other tips include avoiding cross contamination by using different plates to carry the raw food out to the grill and getting the cooked food off the grill, and make sure you get the food put away when you’re done.