Be a Grill Master This Summer

Can you smell that? It’s your neighbor, grilling savory bison burgers down the street. The flavorful aroma wafts delightfully toward your empty stomach.

Can you see that? It’s exquisitely browned marinated chicken, sizzling on the grill. You flip it over with tongs. The fire crackles and juices spit.

Can you taste that? It’s honey chipotle salmon, flaking effortlessly onto your fork and into your awaiting palette.

It’s time for you, Grill Master, to show off your stuff this summer. Grill Masters are experts at offering all of the flavors and none of the food poisoning.

When preparing your favorite grilled foods, keep these food safety guidelines in mind.

  • Separate: When shopping, use separate bags for meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Refrigerate: Keep meat, poultry, and seafood in the fridge or insulated cooler until they’re ready to grill.
  • Thaw: Use the fridge, cold water, or microwave to thaw. Don’t thaw on the counter. Germs multiply quickly at room temperature.
  • Marinate: Use the fridge to marinate. Marinating at room temperature leads to harmful germs in your food. Throw away marindates after they’ve touched raw meat.
  • Wash Hands: Clean your hands with soap and water before and after handling meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • Wash Work Surfaces: Clean cutting boards, counters, and fridge shelves with hot, soapy water before and after cooking.
  • Don’t Cross-Contaminate: After the meat is cooked, DO NOT put it on the same plate that held raw meat.
  • Cook to Safe Temps: Use a meat thermometer to cook to these CDC-recommended temperatures:
    • 145°F—whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
    • 145°F—fish (or cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork)
    • 160°F—hamburgers and other ground beef
    • 165°F—all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
  • Keep Food Hot: After grilling, keep food at 140°F or warmer, until it’s served.
  • Refrigerate Leftovers: Within 2 hours of cooking, place any leftovers in the fridge or cooler. If it’s hot outside (90°F or hotter), put leftovers in the fridge within an hour.

For more safe grilling tips, visit