Five safe grilling tips for summer

July 16, 2019

Whether at home or at the cottage, summer is the best time to host the ultimate backyard BBQ! Chances are, if you are having a backyard barbeque, you’re likely hosting more than just yourself.
BBQ with Friends

You’re confident whatever you serve off the grill will be mouth-wateringly good, but are you 100% sure it’s properly cooked?

To help make sure everyone goes home thinking about your perfectly juicy chicken and sausages, here are some of Public Health’s best BBQ food safety tips to keep you grilling safely all season long:

1. Keep food safe before putting it on the grill

  • Be sure to store food at 4°C (40°F) or colder in a refrigerator or thermally insulated cooler (with ice or freezer packs) that’s easy to clean and sanitize.

2. Cook meats on the grill thoroughly to the minimum internal temperatures shown below.

Ensure the temperature is met or exceeded for 15 seconds before serving the food. Use a probe thermometer to check temperatures. Here are target temperatures for summer’s most popular foods from the BBQ:

  • Hamburgers: 71°C (160°F)
  • Hot dogs: 74°C (174°F)
  • Sausages: 74°C (174°F)
  • Chicken: 74°C (174°F)
    BBQ Meat and Veggies

3. Keep food hot on the grill or held in thermal containers after cooking.

Cooked meat should be kept at an internal temperature of 60°C (140°F) or higher.

4. Be sure to handle your food safely

  • Wash your hands whenever they may be contaminated. For example, after using the washroom, after eating, smoking, coughing, sneezing or touching raw meats.
  • Try to prevent cross-contamination by using separate utensils (e.g., tongs and plates) when handling raw and cooked foods.
  • Use utensils to handle food whenever possible.
  • Make sure food is stored in covered containers.

5. Clean and sanitize surfaces and utensils that come into contact with food, including tables, cutting boards and tongs after each use.

  • To clean: Use soap and water. Rinse with clean water.
  • To sanitize: Use sanitizer solution in a spray bottle or bucket with a clean cloth. A bleach-based sanitizer can be easily made by mixing 1 tsp of bleach in 1L of water.

Have more questions about summer food safety?

Ask us or visit ​Healthy Canadians.

And, now that you’ve freshened up on your BBQ safety tips, get grilling and enjoy!

What are your favourite foods off the barbeque?