Summer is right around the corner, and that means a chance to break out the grill for some good food with good company. However, before you get your party started, there are some safety tips for hosting outdoor BBQs to consider.
Roughly 58% of grill fires occur between May and August and each year an average of 10 deaths and nearly $40 million in property damages occur. In addition, 1 in 6 Americans fall victim to foodborne illness each year – something to keep in mind while preparing food in the hot summer sun. Lastly, as we are still working through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a good idea to consider social distancing practices for your gatherings for now.
Take a look at these simple, actionable tips before you fire up your grill for the summer. Following a few BBQ safety best practices will help you and your guests to enjoy a safe and fun summer of outdoor grilling.
BBQ Grill Safety
General BBQ Grill Safety Tips
- Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house and never leave it unattended.
- Only use your grill outside and always on a stable, flat base.
- Use BBQ-specific lighters and long-handled tools to avoid burns.
- Keep a spray bottle of water nearby for small flare-ups, and have a fire extinguisher handy as well.
- Clean your grill regularly to avoid grease fires.
- Install a home fire alarm system in case of structural fires caused by a grill.
- For charcoal grills, only use enough charcoal to cover the bottom 2 inches of the grill and use as little lighter fluid as possible.
- For gas grills, check for gas leaks and replace any rusted burners before use.
- Wash your hands early and often and ensure that all utensils and cooking equipment are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables before use.
- Use separate utensils and prep boards for raw meats, eggs, and produce.
- Cook all food to the proper temperature:
- 165°F for poultry
- 160°F for ground meat
- 145°F for fish
- 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb.
- Keep your hot food hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be kept at or above 145°F and all cold foods should be kept below 40°F.
Social Distancing Options
- Set up chairs 6ft apart before the BBQ begins to encourage proper distancing.
- Provide each person with their own cup labeled with their name in order to prevent mix-ups.
- Consider a semi-bring-your-own gathering, whether that be for food, drinks, or both. While you may enjoy grilling up some brats or burgers for everyone, you can avoid cross-contamination if guests bring their own snacks and drinks like chips, veggies, wine, and beer.
- Wipe down tables, chairs, toys, and cooking surfaces before, during, and after the gathering.
- Ensure that you have spare clean masks available in case someone forgets their own.
- Contact us today to learn more about BBQ safety.
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