Food and Grilling tips for the summer

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 12:08 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - With grilling season here, it’s important to think about food safety and grilling safety.

When grilling out for the summer season, it is important to inspect the grill and clean it, according to Assistant Fire Marshal for Waynesboro, David Nichols.

If it is a gas grill, make sure that the gas connection is not leaking, and if you are using charcoal or wood, make sure the bottom is sound, so that ashes won’t fall down on the ground.

“Spiders will actually crawl into the small gas ducts in gas grill and can block it up. Which can cause a leak of propane. It causes the propane to go a different route where it won’t burn it will go a different direction where it doesn’t burn it will just leak out and can cause a hazard there.” said Nichols.

Nichols said you should never use a propane gas grill inside a closed structure because if there is a leak, it can cause an explosion or flash fire.

“The number one type of injury from grilling fires are thermal burns. That can be from getting too close to a hot surface, touching a hot surface or if you open the grill and have a flash fire from grease.” Said Nichols.

Nichols said to always maintain a safety area of about 3 feet around the grill. Grill in an area away from small children or pets that could distract you or cause you to trip into the grill.

Laura Lee Wight, Population Health Manager for the Central Shenandoah Health District Said the 4 main components of food safety is to clean, separate, cook, and chill.

“For cleaning, you want to make sure you are washing your hands, washing utensils, the cutting boards, the countertops, and rinsing your fruits and vegetables really well. For separate, you don’t want to cross contaminate raw meats, seafood, and eggs with other ready prepared foods. This includes making sure you are using clean plates, serving platters, or cutting boards when you have ready to eat foods. For cook, you want to make sure that food is safely cooked when the internal temperature gets high enough to kill germs that make you sick, so the only way to check if food has been cooked enough is to use a food thermometer. For chill, make sure to refrigerate your food an appropriate temperature.” said Wight.

Wight said eating undercooked food can cause food poisoning, some germs can make you sick in a few hours of eating them, and others can take a few days. The only way to tell if your food has been cooked to the appropriate temperature is to have a food thermometer in your grill kit.

Wight said make sure to keep coolers closed and put beverages in a separate cooler than food, to keep from opening the cooler that contains food.