Outdoor Food Safety

One of our favorite summer pastimes is getting together with friends and firing up the grill. This summer, take the steps necessary to prevent harmful bacteria from causing food borne illness.

Food safety begins the moment you leave the grocery store and doesn’t necessarily end when the meal does! The way your food is packaged, transported, and stored is just as important as how thoroughly it is cleaned and cooked. Follow these four basic rules to prevent foodborne illness at your cookouts.


  • Wash your hands often.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect utensils, dishes, cutting boards, and countertops that come in contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.


  • Transport meat and poultry separate from other foods and beverages.
  • Keep raw meat and poultry on a different cutting board or countertop than other perishables.
  • Never put cooked foods on a plate that held raw meat.


  • Thaw meat or poultry completely in the refrigerator to promote thorough and even cooking.
  • Cook meat and poultry thoroughly; use a food thermometer to ensure that food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature – poultry: 165°F; ground meat: 160°F; beef, pork, lamb, and veal: 145°F (allow meat to rest at least 3 minutes).


  • Purchase meat and poultry last; go straight home and refrigerate or freeze perishables within two hours.
  • Refrigerate leftovers immediately; discard food left out over two hours (one if temperatures are above 90°F).

Learn more! Find out more details about the information listed above and get more tips and facts about grilling and barbequing. Visit the following sites to learn more.

  • USDA
  • FoodSafety.gov
  • Fightbac.org
  • CCHD’s Holiday Food Safety page

Food Borne Illness

The bacteria found in uncooked meats and poultry can cause some nasty illnesses! Food borne illnesses like campylobacter, salmonella, E. coli, and listeria most commonly cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Dehydration can happen quickly if you are experiencing these symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids and contact your doctor.